27 Jul 2017

Organic Services Experts contribute to OTA's Task Force

Frank Gerriets and Gerald A. Herrmann share knowledge on Supply Chain Integrity

The Task Force convened by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has been set up to address consequences with regard to the recent violations of the USDA organic regulations. The Washington Post investigations revealed that last year a considerable amount of non-organic soybean and corn were exported from Ukraine and Romania via Turkey to the United States. By the time the shipments reached the United States products were fraudulently sold as certified USDA/NOP organic. The Task Force’s mandate is to develop a best practice guide to use in managing and verifying global organic supply chain integrity to help brands and traders manage and mitigate the risk and occurrence of organic fraud. The task force, which now numbers nearly 60 Organic Trade Association members and staff, is one of the largest ever set up by the trade association, and underlines the interest of the sector to tackle and prevent future fraud. Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA points to the integrity in supply chains when saying “… A second potential component involves using new technology to modernize the approach to verification — which relies on accepting audit certificates — so there is traceability all the way back to the farm …”.

In addition to the OTA’s Task Force, the Accredited Certifiers Association (ACA) established the ‘General Traceability Working Group’ to tackle Supply Chain transparency challenges. Frank Gerriets, will contribute to this important task as member of the working group.

Recourses & Background

Washington Post article corn and soybeans

Politico article on OTA Task Force

OTA takes action on fraudulent imports