The Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Rule is regulation put forth by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) that was published on January 19, 2023.This is the most significant change to the national organic regulations since the creation of the NOP. The rule is intended to safeguard confidence in organic products and minimize fraud throughout the organic supply chain. All operations – including both currently certified and newly impacted uncertified handlers of organic products – must meet all of the requirements in the rule by March 19, 2024.
Uncertified operations that will now be required to be certified as of March 19, 2024 can contact firstname.lastname@example.org today to see if they qualify for our 2023 discount. Getting certified early will ensure a seamless transition and our offer is most advantageous to those submitting early in 2023. The certification process may take up to 12 weeks and thousands of operations will need certification. Don’t wait, apply today!
Who will be impacted and how?
Many operations working in the organic industry will be impacted. All operations involved in organic are encouraged to review the regulations. Currently certified operations will be notified of requirements via our newsletter and on their CCOF compliance report.
Review the pages below for key takeaways:
Handlers and Processors, including currently uncertified private label brand owners, brokers, traders, wholesalers, distributors, storage facilities, transporters, importers, exporters, and others.
- CCOF’s SOE Certification News articles (look for the most recent posts on the right side of the page)
- USDA NOP Standards Manuals with SOE edits
- CCOF's SOE video series outlining impacts and next steps
- CCOF's Organic Certification Self-Assessment to better understand how the rule apples to uncertified operations
- Exempt Handler Affidavit used by CCOF certified clients to request review of potentially exempt handlers in their networks
- "What to know about SOE" flyer for CCOF certified clients to share with uncertified operations in their networks
- Organic Fraud Prevention Plan worksheet for CCOF certified handlers
- USDA for all resources developed by USDA NOP. Check this page often as new resources will appear here first.
- Sign up to subscribe to the Organic Insider. Under “subscription topics,” select those that include the term “organic.”
- USDA NOP SOE Primers provide a quick guide to regulatory changes.
- USDA NOP Side by Side Comparison of Past and Present Regulations
- Federal Register: Strengthening Organic Enforcement
- Complete USDA Federal Register notice with additional background on how to interpret the regulations
- Organic Trade Association resources, including a Summary of SOE Regulation