January 18, 2023
Washington, DC -- International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is reviewing and providing an initial reaction to the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Final Rule, published by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), available now for preview in the Federal Register.
According to USDA, the final rule establishes additional risk-based requirements aimed at maintaining the integrity of the organic supply chain through fraud prevention. Specific aspects of the SOE final rule are intended to reduce uncertified operations in the organic handling supply chain, require import certificates for all organic products entering the United States, and provide additional oversight authority to USDA NOP.
“USDA is undertaking this highly anticipated rule under the Organic Foods Production Act to more effectively regulate and protect the organic sector,” said Emily Griep, VP of Regulatory Compliance & Global Food Safety Standards at IFPA. “Organic fresh produce is highly valued by many consumers, and we hope this new rule allows for continued growth of the organic fresh produce industry while maintaining consumer trust in the USDA organic seal. IFPA is committed to working with the USDA NOP to help our members understand and comply with the requirements of the final rule, particularly organic produce importers who will be most impacted by the rule.”
The rule becomes effective two months after it is published in the Federal Registry, on March 20, 2023. USDA has established an implementation date of March 19, 2024. USDA NOP has also released a fact-sheet on the SOE final rule. IFPA will announce future webinars and make resources available on our website in an upcoming update.