The fiscal year 2019 compliance and enforcement summary from the National Organic Program is available on the agency’s website.
The report, according to the USDA, gives a summary of incoming complaints and appeals, initial actions taken, suspensions, revocations and case dispositions during the past fiscal year.
“Fourth quarter data show a significant increase in the number of investigations closed, as well as inquiries and appeals resolved,” the USDA said in the release.
The USDA said factors in the increase include:
- Increased capacity: Increased funding through the 2018 Farm Bill and federal appropriations allowed NOP to increase staff for accreditation, enforcement and international trade oversight.
- Streamlined processes: NOP launched a new compliance database, allowing staff to better track case progress and more quickly identify patterns and relationships across complaints.
- New investigative tools: NOP used farm-level yield analyses, supply chain research and ship-specific surveillance to examine risk factors.
- Dairy compliance project: Federal auditors conducted unannounced compliance visits to dairy farms across the country to assess certifier and operation compliance with the pasture standard. This project also served as the basis for the new Organic Dairy Compliance course, now available in the Organic Integrity Learning Center.
The USDA also makes available the National Organic Program’s Organic Oversight and Enforcement Update.