(UNDATED) – The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) today recognized the work of ten organic certifiers with our annual “Data Quality Awards.” Organic data reporting advances both market development and robust enforcement. These awards celebrate certifiers who exceeded requirements for delivering high quality data to the Organic INTEGRITY Database in 2020.
The awards were presented virtually before more than 600 inspectors and certifiers from around the world who participated at the annual NOP Certifier Training.
“Certifiers play a critical role in organic oversight and enforcement,” said Jennifer Tucker, who heads the NOP. “Quality, timely data deters fraud by making it faster for investigators to identify high risk activities and focus additional enforcement resources to protect the organic market.”
Up-to-date public information about organic operations also helps buyers and sellers find each other in the marketplace, making data an important market development tool. The database lists certified products for each farm and business, providing a resource for other companies looking for certified organic ingredients or needing to bolster their supplies.
The fourth annual Investing in INTEGRITY Data Quality Award winners are (listed alphabetically):
- CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) – Santa Cruz, CA
- Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) – Broomfield, CO
- Global Organic Alliance (GOA) – Bellefontaine, OH
- IMOcert Latinoamerica LTDA (IMOcert) – Cochabamba, Bolivia
- Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) – Des Moines, IA
- Marin Organic Certified Agriculture (MOCA) – Novato, CA
- NOFA-NY Certified Organic (NOFANY) – Binghamton, NY
- Primus Auditing Operations (PAO) – Santa Maria, CA
- Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) – Salt Lake City, UT
- Yolo County Department of Agriculture (YDA) – Woodland, CA
Exceeding Data Requirements
The federal organic regulations currently require that certifiers annually submit a set of basic facts regarding all certified operations to the Organic Integrity Database. The database also includes many optional fields, like acreage, that can aid in oversight and enforcement. The Strengthening Organic Enforcement rulemaking underway will increase accreditation and certification oversight, in part, through additional reporting and training requirements for certifiers and inspectors.
The ten certifiers we recognize today exceeded the minimum requirements by supplying additional detail on their certified operations and submitting updates on a rolling basis throughout the year.
The NOP develops and enforces voluntary standards for organically produced agricultural products sold in the United States. Congress established the NOP as a regulatory program that operates as a public-private partnership. The NOP currently accredits and oversees 77 certifiers operating around the world. These third-party organizations inspect and certify organic farms and businesses to the USDA organic regulations. USDA also invests significant resources to develop certifier and inspector capabilities and oversee their work year-round.
The Organic INTEGRITY Database makes information on current and former certified organic operations publicly available online from anywhere in the world. It allows users to quickly confirm the organic certification status and other details of a farm or business and helps certifiers support the organic community in fraud prevention.
More information on organic enforcement and oversight is available on the NOP website at www.ams.usda.gov/organic.