The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program has released an updated version of the program handbook.
The handbook identifies and clarifies existing federal organic requirements and offers assistance to help organic producers and other operators comply with program rules, according to a USDA news release.
Updated every quarter, the new version of the handbook includes instructions about a range of topics:
- accredited certifying agent inspection authority;
- use of natural flavors;
- certification of agricultural products that meet NOP standards;
- reporting health and safety violations;
- private-label certification; and
- Additional requirements for California’s state organic program
The resource also offers best practices for certification, accreditation, international marketing, compliance and enforcement, according to the release.
“The updated handbook is intended to help the organic industry consistently comply with the organic regulations,” Rayne Pegg, Agricultural Marketing Service administrator, said in the release.
The handbook can also be requested from the National Organic Program Standards Division, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 2646-S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, D.C. 20250-0268.