Settlement Agreements

The NOP often enters into settlement agreements with operations, certified and uncertified, and accredited certifiers concerning noncompliance with the USDA organic regulations.  Typically, these settlements are executed as alternatives to administrative proceedings that may result in suspension or revocation of certification or accreditation, as well as civil penalties for the knowing sale of products in violation of the USDA organic regulations.  Settlement always requires operations to comply with USDA organic regulations and, sometimes, includes specific compliance requirements and/or reduced civil penalties.

Current Year

11/18/2020: Heavens View Dairy Farm – Osseo, Wisconsin

Heavens View Dairy Farm withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to fully comply with and provide on-time responses to all certifier requests for information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification. Heavens View also agrees to submit within 30 days a Crop Summary/Current Year Field Plan with either a Prior Land Use Declaration or a 3-Year Field History and an updated Field History for its new land.

11/13/2020: Steve Beyrle/J&S Farms – Colwich, Kansas

Steve Beyrle/J&S Farms withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to fully comply with and provide on-time responses to all certifier requests for information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to complete its organic certification application, including information about its non-organic land, an updated Organic System Plan and an updated Field History. Beyrle also agrees to undergo an inspection as soon as the certifier can arrange it, to include all aspects of its operation for which certification is sought.

11/11/2020: Glass Farm – Wayland, Iowa

Glass Farm withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to pay a civil penalty of $1,300 and stop selling, labeling or representing its products as organic without certification.

11/10/2020: 21 Drops LLC – Delray Beach, Florida

21 Drops LLC withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to surrender its organic certification. 21 Drops also agreed not to use the organic seal on its products, to remove the seal from products where it remains, and to stop representing, labeling, marketing, advertising or selling its products as organic without certification.

11/02/2020: James Popwell Dairy – Tylertown, Mississippi

James Popwell Dairy withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to fully comply with and provide on-time responses to all certifier requests for information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification; maintain and make available at each upcoming inspection all required records on livestock feed, dry matter intake inventory, animals purchased and those sold; and undergo one unannounced inspection within 18 months.

11/02/2020: Triple J Dairy LLC – Ruth, Mississippi

Triple J Dairy withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees that its Plot 29 is suspended from organic production, for use in feeding organic livestock, and is ineligible for certification until April 19, 2021. Triple J Dairy also agrees to fully comply with and provide on-time responses to all certifier requests for information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification; maintain and make available at each inspection all required records on the production and harvest of organic corn used as livestock feed and on non-organic corn silage sold to off-farm entities; use only certifier-approved substances on its fields; and undergo one unannounced inspection within 18 months.

10/19/2020: Servicios Agrícolas Frut Ltda. – Región del Maule, Chile

Servicios Agrícolas Frut (SAF) withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees that its Plot 1.3 is suspended, ineligible for certification until November 10, 2022 and blueberries from that plot may not be represented, labeled or sold as organic until it is recertified. SAF also agrees to not use prohibited substances on its organic plots; to maintain and submit its input inventory and application lists for the next two years; and to undergo two unannounced inspections within that same period.

10/16/2020: Odysee Dattes – Tunis, Tunisia

Odysee withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to fully comply with and provide on-time responses to all certifier requests for information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification; provide sufficient evidence of implemented corrective actions; submit renewal applications by the requested deadline; use only certifier-approved labels, make sure its farmers maintain required documentation on fertilizers; and undergo an unannounced inspection within 18 months; respond to certifier requests on time.

9/18/2020: United 1 International Laboratories – Carrolton, Texas

United 1 Laboratories withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to obtain certifier approval for product formulation and labeling prior to selling or distributing that product as organic; undergo an unannounced inspection within 12 months; respond to certifier requests on time; and fully comply with all certifier requests for product information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification.

9/3/2020: Isla Natura Exportadora Ltda. – Region de Lagos, Chile

Isla Natura Exportadora withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees not to sell any product as organic without prior approval from its certifier. Isla also agrees to use certifier-approved labels on its products; respond to certifier requests on time; and fully comply with all certifier requests for product information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification.

8/18/2020: Ecocert ICO, LLC – Plainfield, Indiana

Ecocert withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and will surrender its USDA accreditation by January 31, 2021 and inform its certified operations of its surrender in an NOP-approved notification. Pending surrender of its certification, Ecocert ICO agrees to submit to NOP corrective actions addressing the new and outstanding noncompliances identified in its 2020 midterm audit; have an audit of its certification activities conducted by an NOP-approved third party within two months; and submit a monthly staffing update, identifying new hires and their relevant training and experience.

8/14/2020: EcuadorCocoa & Coffee, Ecuacoffee S.A. – Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ecuacoffee withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees not to sell any product as organic that does meet USDA requirements for organic production and handling, and will be clear in documentation of all sales as conventional or organic; catch up and pay all certifier fees on time; undergo an unannounced inspection within 18 months; will respond to certifier requests on time; and fully comply with all certifier requests for product information, documentation and other recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification.

7/27/2020: Santa Viviana S. de R.L. – La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Santa Viviana withdraws its appeal and waives further appeal rights in this matter. Santa Viviana agrees not to sell as organic any crops produced in a lot that is not certified for organic production, agrees not to buy commodities from other sources to sell without proper documentation, or to use any inputs without approval from its certifier. Santa Viviana also agrees to undergo two unannounced inspections within the next year; update its Organic System Plan; respond to certifier requests on time; fully comply with all recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification; be auditable; and allow for the successful completion of mass balance and traceback checks.

7/14/2020: Kiwa BCS Oko-Garantie GmbH – Nürnberg, Germany

Kiwa BCS withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to submit corrective actions in response to noncompliances generated from its 2019 mid-term audit; stop accepting new applicants for certification until NOP determines there are no reoccurrences of the 2019 noncompliances; conduct audits of its NOP certification activities; provide quarterly staff training; undergo an onsite compliance audit and witness audit for each area of certification; and document how they will fully comply with all NOP requests for information.

7/8/2020: Lord’s Bounty Farm LLC – Jefferson, Oregon

Lord’s Bounty Farm withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to fully comply with recordkeeping requirements; respond to certifier requests on time; use only certifier-approved inputs; undergo an unannounced inspection; and submit proposed Organic System Plan changes to its certifier before implementing them.

7/6/2020: Xinghua GL Stevia Co., Ltd. – Jiangsu Province, China

Xinghua GL Stevia Co. withdraws its appeal, waives further appeal rights in this matter, and agrees to prepare comprehensive standard operating procedures for its organic and conventional production, including steps to reduce cross-contamination of organic products; provide training on organic processing procedures for its staff; use only resins made with allowed substances; respond to certifier requests on time; and fully comply with all recordkeeping requirements.

6/24/2020: Hardie’s Fruit and Vegetable Company – Dallas, Texas

Hardie’s Fruit and Vegetable Company agreed to revise its Organic System Plan; stop purchasing products from non-certified suppliers; and fully comply with the on-time completion of all certifier-assigned tasks, information requests, and recordkeeping mandates as required to maintain its USDA organic certification.

6/17/2020: Jason Shaw, dba JLJ Dairy Farm – Perkinston, Mississippi

JLJ Dairy Farm agreed to fully comply with all certifier requests, tasks, and requirements for maintaining accurate, up-to-date records of feed fed to livestock, feed inventory, harvest yield, harvest equipment used, animal healthcare, dry matter intake and animal lists.

6/16/2020: Samuel Beiler – Echo Hollow – Millville, Pennsylvania

Echo agreed to revise its Organic System Plan (OSP) to include information on livestock feed and inputs; not use feed containing prohibited ingredients, remove from production for one year any animals treated with or fed noncompliant products; undergo an unannounced inspection; and fully comply with all agreed-upon tasks, certifier requests, and recordkeeping required to maintain its organic certification.

6/10/2020: Elam King – Kinzers, Pennsylvania

Elam King agreed to have all inputs for its crops and livestock operation approved by its certifier, use only approved inputs and materials in its operation, and maintain appropriate records documenting commercially purchased inputs.

6/5/2020: Haddinger Farms – Evansville, Wisconsin

Haddinger Farms agreed to submit a Greenhouse Organic System Plan; provide all documentation on time, as required for its annual certification renewal and in response to any certifier requests; undergo an unannounced inspection; and fully comply with all other agreed-upon tasks and recordkeeping required to maintain its USDA organic certification.

6/3/2020: Holy Cow Grass Fed – Wapato, Washington

Holy Cow Grass Fed agreed to stop selling, labeling or marketing livestock products under its name; stop making organic claims on its website; and only use its website to sell livestock products from or refer customers to other entities that do not make any organic certification claims for their products.

5/8/2020: Intec Vanilla Niugini Ltd. – Papua, New Guinea

Intec agreed to revise its Organic System Plan (OSP) to include all required information, outlining how it will comply with the organic regulations; inspect all new applicant grower plots; conduct grower- and inspector-specific training; implement a third-party quality assurance program; and fully comply with all agreed-upon tasks, certifier requests, inspections and other requirements for maintaining its organic certification.

05/05/2020: Evans Brothers Coffee–Sandpoint, Idaho

Evans Brothers Coffee agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5000 and immediately stop selling, labeling, or representing its products as organic without certification.

04/29/2020: Grand Teton Organics– Idaho Falls, Idaho

Grand Teton Organics agreed to undergo an unannounced inspection by its certifier, stop advertising potatoes as organic on its website, and stop using prohibited substances on its organic crops or on land used for growing organic crops.

04/07/2020: New Acai Amazonas– Orlando, Florida

New Acai Amazonas agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1000 and immediately stop selling, labeling, or representing its products as organic without certification.

03/31/2020: WBM LLC– Flemington, New Jersey

WBM LLC agreed to pay a civil penalty of $500 and immediately stop selling, labeling, or representing its products as organic without certification.

3/25/2020: Puratos Corporation, dba Puratos Chocolate, USA – Pennsaucken, New Jersey

Puratos Corporation agreed to explain its scrap calculations and why organic production does not balance with its incoming amount of organic ingredients; consistently implement its new fat wash processes; undergo an unannounced inspection; and fully comply with all agreed-upon tasks, certifier requests, and recordkeeping required to maintain its USDA organic certification.

2/18/2020: Paul McDowell, dba McDowell Fresh Produce – Montello, Wisconsin

McDowell Fresh Produce agreed to fully comply with all certification and inspection actions resulting from its December 2019 application for organic certification, certifier requests for documentation, and on time submission of its certification renewal applications.

01/16/2020: Steve Miller dba Jubilee Meadows – Mt. Gilead, Ohio

Mr. Miller agreed to: (1) submit a complete annual certification renewal application with required fees to his certifier on time for 2020 and 2021; (2) if submitting an incomplete renewal application, submit early enough to allow for the certifier to review and provide feedback, and ensure the final renewal application is completed by the deadline; and (3) respond to all 2020 and 2021 certifier requests by the deadline set by the certifier.

01/06/2020: Wesley Baker – Baker’s Organic Acres – LaRue, Ohio

Mr. Baker agreed to respond to all certifier requests on time, including requests for documentation, organic system plan updates, field histories, maps and responses to noncompliances.