Feb 1, 2022
Twelve certifiers honored by US organic program

The USDA National Organic Program, aka NOP, recently recognized the work of accredited organic certifiers with awards for extraordinary support of the National Organic Standards.

The awards were given at a NOP virtual training for organic inspectors from around the world, according to a NOP newsletter. Ten certifiers were recognized for exceeding requirements for delivering high quality data to the Organic INTEGRITY Database in 2021. Two certifiers were also recognized with a Director’s Award for outstanding contributions to work in organic certification.

“These awards recognize the success of our public-private partnership and demonstrate the close collaboration between certifiers and the program to protect consumer confidence and maintain a level playing field for organic farmers, ranchers and businesses,” NOP Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker said in the newsletter. “The work of these certifiers really stood out, even at a time when the overall quality and timeliness of the data being provided voluntarily continues to improve each year.”

Buyers and sellers use the USDA Organic Integrity Database to look up the status of a certified organic operation and see the products that each farm and business has to offer, according to the newsletter. That makes accurate, up-to-date data from certifiers very important.

INTEGRITY Data Quality Award

NOP data quality award-winners 2022
NOP data quality award-winners 2022 Photo: USDA NOP

The fifth annual Investing in INTEGRITY Data Quality Award winners are (listed alphabetically):

National Organic Program Director’s Award

NOP director's award winners 2022
NOP director’s award winners 2022 Photo: NOP

The 2022 National Organic Program Director’s Award winners are:

According to the NOP:

“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 and head count for cattle or poultry, that can aid in oversight. 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 recognized today significantly exceeded the minimum requirements by supplying additional detail on their certified operations and submitting updates on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Over the past year, two certifiers stood also out for their consistent, effective communication and collaboration with NOP staff on a wide range of issues and day-to-day operations, including fraud investigations. Their regular, open collaboration with the Program provided increased insight into the real-world application of the organic standards, while allowing the NOP to more effectively ensure certifiers are consistently applying the standards for USDA certified farms and businesses located in the U.S. and around the world.

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