Take the first step to fight organic fraud with online training

Take the first step to fight organic fraud with online training

Organic businesses wanting to protect against organic fraud in their operations can now complete an online training course that is a key component of the Organic Trade Association’s groundbreaking industry-wide Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, a voluntary program to help minimize and eliminate organic fraud.

The fraud prevention program, designed specifically to meet the unique needs of the organic supply chain, is based on buyer responsibility and supplier verification, and provides companies with a risk-based process for developing organic fraud mitigation measures.

The training course for the program, “Developing and Implementing an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan,” provides detailed background and instruction on how to carry out an organic fraud vulnerability assessment, and how to implement an effective organic fraud prevention plan. The four-hour course was developed in partnership with Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative and is offered through the Food Fraud Prevention Academy.
This course is helping organic businesses put systems and measures in place that support the promise of providing organic food that people can trust.

Two other courses are being offered later this year through USDA’s Organic Integrity Learning Center as a free resource for organic certifiers, inspectors, and compliance professionals. The courses are online, on-demand, and self-paced. 

Get started at OTA.com with 3 simple steps:

  1. Find out if you’re eligible
  2. Register for the program
  3. Start your training online

Protect your business and help grow consumer confidence

Protecting against fraud in the organic supply chain is a critical priority for the Organic Trade Association and its members. Why? Because, anytime there is fraud anywhere in the organic system, it takes value out of the organic label. To help organic businesses have robust systems and measures in place to prevent and detect fraud, the Organic Trade Association has been leading the development of organic fraud prevention best practices for more than two years. Beginning with a member task force formed in 2017 to the rollout of the Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program in 2019, the trade association has moved forcefully and proactively to confront the fraud prevention challenge. Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions requires training, an organic fraud vulnerability assessment and the development of an organic fraud prevention plan. The step-by-step program walks organic businesses through the whole process. 

Everyone plays a role in preventing organic fraud

It is critical that organic businesses have robust systems and measures in place that adequately support the promise of providing organic products that people can trust. To enroll in Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, a company must be an Organic Trade Association member and either USDA Certified Organic or listed with a USDA recognized Material Review Organization. Eligible operations include any certified operation in the organic supply chain (e.g. farmers, handlers, processors, distributors, traders, retailers and input manufacturers). There are also opportunities for organic certifiers, consultants, and advisors who would like to partner as subject matter experts.


Did You Know? Although food fraud dates back to at least the Middle Ages, its presence in the global organic supply chain is more recent. While it is not known conclusively how widespread food fraud is in the United States or worldwide, it is estimated to be a $50 billion industry for the total food market --about the same size as the entire 2019 U.S. organic food market. //