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.
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.
6/17/2020: 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.