What is an Appeal?
An appeal is a written request that a higher authority reexamine the decision of another body. A USDA-accredited certifying agent (certifier) may propose adverse actions against certified operations. The NOP may propose adverse actions against certifiers, uncertified operations, or certified operations. The recipient of the adverse action may request in writing that the decision be reexamined by the AMS Administrator’s Office. This is called an appeal. All appeals are expeditiously reviewed and decided in an unbiased manner by persons that were not involved in the initial decision to propose an adverse action.
How do I Appeal?
Appeals must be submitted within 30 days of receipt of the notification of the adverse action, or within the timeframe specified in the notification, whichever occurs later.
The appellant must submit the appeal and any accompanying documentation, in writing, to the AMS Administrator c/o the NOP Appeals Team. The appeal must include a copy of the notification of the adverse action, and “the reasons for believing the decision was not proper or made in accordance with applicable program regulations, policies, or procedures.”
For More Information
- Adverse Action Appeals Process (pdf from the Organic Program Handbook)
- Contact the NOP Appeals Team at NOPAppeals@usda.gov