Stakeholder consultation: USDA ‘Sound and Sensible’ project ..::

In September 2014 the USDA awarded Organic Services a project contract to advance the National Organic Program (NOP) Sound and Sensible initiative. Our partner from the US is Wolf, DiMatteo + Associates.  
Our project is:  
‘Guidelines for setting up, administering, and managing an Internal Control System (ICS) for grower groups engaged in organic certification’.

After working together and with NOP staff, we now have a draft ready for stakeholder comments. 

Please view the draft guidelines.

NEW! - Please view the GUIDELINES ANNEXES.

Please view important reference documents.

Stakeholder consultation

Stakeholders including grower groups, certification bodies, traders, and other experts are invited to become actively involved in the development and to provide your valuable feedback based on the guidelines’ first draft.

The consultation period will be finally closed August 27th. To ensure transparency a summary of comments received and responses to the comments will be compiled and published. Certainly confidentiality of those who submitted comments will be preserved.  

Although we appreciate grammar and format edits, these are not our top priority from you as a stakeholder.  Your constructive input is especially sought to ensure that the guidelines provide clear and consistent content.

We ask you to review the document with a focus on the following questions:
•    Are you lacking information essential for setting up an ICS
•    Identify any content deemed inconsistent
•    Identify anything which might be misleading
•    Provide any other amendments and proposals helping us to further develop the guidelines

Chapter 5 is intended to discuss specific misconceptions, pitfalls, challenges and solutions. Please let us know what are the most critical issues based on your experience?  Please comment or add to the list provided.

Please include your comments in correction mode and send the file back to

We appreciate to receive your comments latest on 27th of August.

Please feel free to contact Organic Services at any time. We would be glad to answer your questions and to discuss the draft with you.

Many thanks for supporting this project.

Your contacts:
Gerald A. Herrmann;
Katherine DiMatteo;
and Mildred Steidle;

More background on the draft