Jan 26, 2021
10 organic certifiers recognized by USDA for data quality

Ten agencies who certify food and products as organic were honored Jan. 25 by the USDA National Organic Program.

The awards were meant to celebrate certifiers who exceeded requirements for delivering high-quality data to the Organic INTEGRITY Database in 2020. The NOP’s annual “Data Quality 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 NOP wrote in an email newsletter. 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:

The federal organic regulations currently require that certifiers annually submit a set of basic facts regarding all certified operations to the Organic Integrity Database, according to the USDA NOP’s newsletter. 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, according to the USDA.

“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 USDA wrote in the newsletter.

Above, certifier representatives pictured from left to right. Top: CCOF, CDA, GOA, IMOcert and IDALS. Bottom: MOCA, NOFANY, PAO, UDAF and YDA. Photo: USDA

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