President of CCOF Certification Services Speaks on Organic Import Panel at NOSB Meeting

CCOF Certification Services LLC President Jake Lewin presented on an expert panel discussing organic imports at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The panelists discussed oversight of organic imports and tracking organic products throughout the supply chain. 
“We have feasible, clear steps that we can take to shore up certifier oversight of imports and allegations of fraud,” said Lewin in his opening remarks. 
Lewin outlined three first-step solutions to immediately increase oversight of imported organic crops and products. Those solutions include requiring accredited certification agencies (ACAs) to consistently report acreage to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), requiring ACAs to consistently report trade exports to NOP, and improving collaboration between ACAs and NOP on investigations. Lewin noted that these three solutions would allow NOP to immediately improve how it tracks regional production trends and international trade activity. 
NOSB and NOP will use Lewin’s and the other panelists’ recommendations to improve oversight over the organic supply chain and ensure consumer confidence in the USDA organic seal. 
Other panelists included Albrecht Benzing (CERES GmbH), Silke Fuchshofen (Organic Insights, Inc.), Sam Welsch (OneCert), John Bobbe (OFARM), Peter Carlson (Terra Ingredients, LLC), Mike Dill (Organically Grown Company), Erin Heitkamp (Pipeline Foods), and Monique Marez (Organic Trade Association).
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