News Updates

November 2017

Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Delay of Effective Date

Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Delay of Effective Date

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is delaying the effective date of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017.

The OLPP final rule amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions.

More information is available in the November 9, 2017 Federal Register Notice 2017-24675

July 2017

Apply for Cost Share Reimbursement

Posted 7.12.17:

Have you applied for organic certification cost share yet? If not, now is the time to apply!
Organic cost share reimburses individual organic operators up to 75% of their organic certification costs, with a maximum of $750 for each NOP scope of organic certification.

Why Should I Apply?

  1. Decrease your operating costs!
  2. Participate in one of the few federal programs that specifically benefits organic producers - you deserve the reward for all your hard work.
  3. Applying for cost share, even if you don’t need it, tells the government it’s an important program, and supports the inclusion of cost share funds in future Farm Bills!

How to Apply

Any operation in good standing that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, may apply and receive one reimbursement per certificate or scope of certification. Recognized scopes include: 

  • Crops
  • Wild crops
  • Livestock
  • Processing/handling

The deadline for receipt of cost-share applications is October 31, 2017.

For information on how to apply for cost-share contact:

Anne St. Cyr

NY State Department of Agriculture & Markets

10B Airline Drive Albany, NY 12235

P: (518) 485-9974 F: (518) 457-2716 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More questions or for a copy of the NYS application or NYS Ag & Market’s website.  Feel free to call the NOFA-NY certification office 607-724-9851.

2017 Sunset Review Final Rule

Posted 7.6.17:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has published the Sunset 2017 final rule.   

Removals from the National List. This final rule removes the following three synthetic substances and five nonorganic agricultural substances from the National List for use in organic production and handling. 

  • Lignin sulfonate (as a floating agent in postharvest handling);
  • Furosemide;
  • Magnesium carbonate;
  • Chia;
  • Dillweed oil;
  • Frozen galangal;
  • Frozen lemongrass; and
  • Chipotle chile peppers

Organic forms of chia, dillweed oil, galangal, lemongrass, and Chipotle chile peppers continue to be allowed in organic products and are not affected by this action.  

 

June 2017

EU Export Certificates OnLine System (TRACES)

Posted 6.26.17: 

As of April 2017, export certificates to the EU, called Certificates of Inspection (COI), can be issued through TRACES (Trade Control and Export System), and with full implementation required by October 17, 2017.

This change is aimed at improving traceability, enhancing food safety, and reducing fraud.   To comply with the new regulations, NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC can now issue electronic Certificates of Inspection (eCOIs) through this new system. To get set up in this new system, NOFA-NY certified exporters should request an Operator role within TRACES, which NOFA-NY will approve. Once approved, the Operator is responsible for starting the eCOI request and entering all the shipment details. NOFA-NY will receive this request and process it, sending the eCOI to the first consignee.

Currently, a physical COI will also need to be sent with the shipment, or directly to the importer. The EU is working to implement fully electronic certificates in the future.   Additional benefits of the new system are notifications to all relevant parties as the eCOI moves along the supply chain, as well as a built-in product catalog. This enables the Operator to quickly find the corresponding Harmonized Schedule code ensuring organic products are properly accounted for in trade statistics. 

Register to TRACES now.  Educational Materials can be found on our website.

June 14th - NOP Training Webinar for Organic Handlers

Posted 6.1.17: 

On June 14, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is holding a one-hour training webinar for organic handlers. The topic is Organic Integrity in the Supply Chain.

Organic handlers play a vital role in the global organic control system, which includes strict production standards; accreditation of certifiers; certification of farmers, processors and handlers; and enforcement. 

AMS has identified violations of organic regulations involving shipments of soybeans and corn entering the U.S. and enforcement actions are underway.  We are investigating other evidence related to other shipments of soybeans and corn.

To help guard the integrity of organic imports, this training webinar focuses on the role of organic system plans and recordkeeping systems in ensuring organic integrity of imports, and highlights critical control points that will be audited during inspections. 

All organic handlers are encouraged to attend this broadcast webinar.  Because we expect a large number of attendees, this webinar will be “broadcast only.” You will be able to hear us, and will be able to chat questions to us using your keyboard.


Webinar Logistics: 

Date:  Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Time:  1:00-2:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time

Meeting Website: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/wdqfaqcl01c2&eom

The audio for the webinar will come through your computer speakers – make sure your volume is on. 

Test your computer before the meeting 

Learn more about maintaining organic integrity in complex supply chains

 

May 2017

Organic Integrity in the Supply Chain: NOP Resource List for Organic Certifiers and Certified Handlers

Posted 5.23.17: 

Access useful NOP Resource List regarding organic integrity in the supply chain. 

USDA Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices: Second Proposed Rule and Notice of Delay in Effective Date

Posted 5.9.2017:

Two Notices about the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule appear in the Federal Register today. 

Second Proposed Rule

The first notice is a proposed rule that requests public comment on options related to the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. 

Delay in Effective Date 

The second notice announces a delay in the effective date for the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule until November 14, 2017. This will allow additional time to receive and review comments - all comments must be submitted by June 9, 2017. 

 

April 2017

Organic Livestock & Poultry Practices Final Rule

Posted 4.24.17: 

This rule sets production standards for organic livestock and poultry, including transport and slaughter. This action assures consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard by resolving the current ambiguity about outdoor access for poultry. It also establishes clear standards for raising, transporting, and slaughtering organic animals and birds. This rule will provide for effective compliance and enforcement, as well as fair competition among organic livestock producers.

Key points of new rule: 

  • Requires that producers provide animals with daily access to the outdoors and that outdoor areas include vegetation and/or soil. Additionally, exit doors must be distributed to ensure animals have ready access to the outdoors. It does not allow enclosed porches to be considered outdoors or to meet the requirement for outdoor access.
  • Specifies the amount of space required indoors for chicken broilers and layers, prohibits forced USDA Agricultural Marketing Service | National Organic Program 2 molting, restricts the use of artificial light, limits the amount of ammonia in the air indoors, and requires perching space for laying chickens indoors.
  •  Describes when producers can confine animals indoors temporarily and codifies flexibility for producers to confine animals when their health, safety or well-being could be jeopardized.
  • Adds humane handling requirements for transporting livestock and poultry to sale or slaughter, and clarifies humane slaughter requirements.
  • Prohibits several kinds of physical alteration, like de-beaking chickens or docking cows’ tails.
  • Provides a phased implementation plan, allowing producers reasonable time to implement the rule

The Final Rule goes into effect on May 19th.   Make sure you understand the rule and how it affects your operation and organic system plan.  NOP Website        NOP Q & A

Promotional Materials for Certified Organic Producers Available

Posted 4.21.17:

Need help promoting your NOFA-NY Certified Organic products?  Click to order No Spray signs, banners, and labels.  Orders may be email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC at 840 Upper Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905.  

USDA Video for Certified Organic Handlers Importing

Posted 4.10.17:

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) protects the integrity of USDA organic products throughout the world, so consumers can trust the organic label. The size and complexity of organic trade has grown over time, and many U.S. businesses rely on imports to create the organic products that consumers want. As the organic market grows, many growers, processors, and handlers are working within multi-business supply chains, often across borders.

The global organic control system includes strict standards; certifier accreditation; farm and business certification; and enforcement. Within this system, organic handlers play a vital role in protecting the integrity of organic products from farm to market in complex supply chains.

The NOP has published a short video to review the responsibilities of organic handlers in verifying that organic imports comply with U.S. standards. The video also reviews the role of certifiers in overseeing imports and enforcing the standards.

This video is an educational resource for people who work with organic imported products that involve long and complex supply chains.

March 2017

Natural Resources & Biodiversity Conservation

Posted 3.31.17:

The general natural resources and biodiversity conservation requirement of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations at 7 CFR § 205.200 requires operations to “maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality.” Section 205.2 of the regulations defines “natural resources of the operation” as the “physical, hydrological, and biological features of a production operation, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife.” 

NOP Guidance 5020 Natural Resources & Biodiversity Conservation

The Wild Farm Alliance has published a Biodiversity Conservation Guide to assist organic farmers and certifiers in determining appropriate conservation activities. 

Exporting Organic Products from Mexico to U.S

Posted 3.13.17:

The NOP has delayed the mandatory requirement of import certificates for organic products exported to the United States from Mexico.  The NOP, however, recommends organic importers in the United States to request import certificates while waiting an updated implementation date.   At this time, a final deadline is unknown.  

February 2017

NOSB gives final recommendations for removal of 2018 Sunset Materials from the National List

Posted 2/23/17:

Ivermectin (Livestock) and Carregeenan (Handling) have been recommended for removal from the National List.  We will keep you informed on when action is taken by the NOP on this recommendation. 

New Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule effective date is being moved to May 19

Posted 2.23.17:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is delaying the effective date of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule by 60 days to May 19, 2017.  These actions are being taken in accordance with guidance issued Jan. 20, 2017, to ensure the new policy team has an opportunity to review the rules. This is similar to procedures issued by previous administrations.

View Final Rule       View NOP Infographic