The National Organic Program has officially published the long-awaited Origin of Livestock Final Rule to the Federal Register! This rule has been over a decade in the making, and CCOF is thrilled to see it finalized. Previously, regulations pertaining to origin of livestock and the transitioning of animals into a dairy’s organic herd resulted in inconsistent interpretation of the requirements, creating an unlevel playing field for organic livestock producers. This rule ensures that, moving forward, all producers are held to the same limited transition practices for fair competition in the market.
All certified operations must fully comply with all parts of this rule by April 5, 2023. Here are key takeaways that may impact certified operations:
1. Certified operations may not start new animal transitions that would not be completed by April 5, 2023. Since the transitioning of a dairy animal requires one full year, this means that effective April 6, 2022, an operation cannot source a non-organic animal and transition it into organic production.
2. If a certified operation is currently in the process of transitioning animals to organic, those animals can continue in their current transition .
3. A dairy operation may continue to purchase already-transitioned animals until April 5, 2023. After this date, all animals brought into the operation must have been managed organically from the last third of their gestation.
The NOP has provided a helpful infographic that visually outlines this rule change.
CCOF-certified dairy operations will receive correspondence from CCOF regarding next steps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kelly Korman, Livestock Certification Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (831) 346-6316.