National Organic Program Publishes Guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation

On January 15 of this year, the National Organic Program (NOP) announced the final guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations.

The guidance addresses one of the core principles of organic production: conserving natural resources and biodiversity. The USDA organic regulations require certified producers to maintain or improve natural resources on their farms. This guidance provides certifiers and certified producers with examples of production practices that support conservation principles and also comply with the NOP regulations. It also clarifies the roles of certified operations, certifiers, and inspectors in the implementation and verification of these production practices. The guidance also outlines ways for domestic organic operations that participate in a National Resources Conservation Service program to reduce the burden of additional paperwork.

CCOF submitted comment in 2015 on the draft guidance on behalf of our members.