As global supply chains become increasingly complex, the integrity of the USDA’s organic seal is being put to the test. And it’s easy to see why.
Organic products enjoy growing market demand, command a price premium and, typically, the end product is indistinguishable from a noncertified or conventionally grown product. It’s understandable that these combined factors could tempt bad actors or inspire a fraud attempt.
To bolster the integrity of the organic seal and address fraud concerns, the USDA’s National Organic Program earlier this year issued a comprehensive Strengthening Organic Enforcement Final Rule, setting implementation for March 2024.
Broadly, the final rule reduces exemptions and increases traceability due diligence across global supply chains. For organic consumers and industry advocates, the increased due diligence for the certified organic seal is welcome news, but how do businesses assess their supply chains to determine if and how they will be affected by the new Strengthening Organic Enforcement Final Rule?
Longtime organic advocates Gwendolyn Ward and Kim Dietz recently teamed up and created an organic advisory firm to help companies answer such questions. The two organic industry veterans launched Strengthening Organic Systems, the first consultancy focused solely on organic fraud prevention, supply chain investigation and compliance with the USDA organic antifraud regulations.