The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has released an official proposed rule for Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). The proposed changes are the most significant changes to the national organic regulations since the creation of the NOP.
Once SOE is implemented, some operations that were previously exempt from certification must get certified. This includes private label brand owners, brokers, traders, wholesalers, distributors, and importers. We encourage you to review section 1 (description begins on Page 5) of the proposed rule and submit comments to USDA by October 5, 2020.
The USDA NOP has stated that SOE will be implemented one year after SOE is finalized. At that time, previously exempt operations will be required to be certified. If you are a certified operation working with uncertified private label brand owners or uncertified brokers, traders, wholesalers, distributors, or importers, please encourage them to comment on SOE by October 5, 2020, and to seek certification well ahead of the implementation date.
Getting certified early will ensure a seamless transition when the rule is finalized. The certification process may take up to 12 weeks and thousands of operations will need certification. CCOF will work hard to avoid delays and you can help us by applying early to avoid the stress of wondering if you will meet the deadline. Operations that do not get certified by the deadline may face civil penalties if they continue to sell organic products. Don’t wait, apply today!