WASHINGTON – Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the highly anticipated Origin of Livestock (OOL) final rule for organic dairy in the Federal Register. This change to the USDA organic regulations will promote a fairer and more competitive market for all organic dairy producers, by making sure that certified USDA organic dairy products are produced to the same consistent standard.
USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) will oversee the new rule, which in general:
- Allows a dairy livestock operation to transition to organic, or starting a new organic farm, to transition non-organic animals one time.
- Prohibits organic dairies from sourcing any transitioned animals. Once a dairy is certified organic, animals must be managed as organic from the last third of gestation. Variances may be requested by small businesses for specific scenarios.
This final rule is effective June 6, 2022. Certified organic operations must comply with all provisions of this final rule by April 5, 2023.
On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, from 1:00 pm. until 1:30 p.m. Eastern, NOP will hold an informational webinar to provide an overview of the changes this rule makes to the USDA organic regulations and how they may impact organic farms and businesses.