The highly anticipated Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Rule was published on January 19, 2023. After doing our first in-depth review, CCOF has created an overview that summarizes key changes. All operations producing or handling organic products should become familiar with this new rule. Please take some time to review our summary.
Uncertified operations handling organic products will need to become especially familiar with section A of the new rule. After March 19, 2024, organic businesses will be required to purchase ingredients only from certified suppliers. We encourage uncertified operations to review CCOF’s resource page and the rule itself, then reach out to email@example.com or (831) 423-2263, ext. 1 for next steps. A significant number of operations will need certification, which may create a bottleneck in early 2024. With this in mind, CCOF is offering a 2023 discount to operations who prioritize getting certified now. The sooner uncertified operations apply, the better the savings and smoother business operations will be!
In a webinar on February 21, 2023, the USDA National Organic Program shared that the goal of the rule is to “protect organic integrity and bolster consumer confidence in the USDA ‘Organic’ seal.” Key updates to support this goal include reducing the number of uncertified operations, strengthening records and traceability throughout the organic supply chain, requiring electronic import certificates for all incoming organic product, and strengthening the oversight of organic certification agencies. The webinar also stressed the USDA’s goal of total supply chain transparency through certification.