USDA plans new organic database

Tom Karst

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a 20-page document about the development of what it calls the Organic Integrity Database.

The report features slides and participant comments from a Web seminar Dec. 9 by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program and Information Technology Service, according to a news release.

The Web seminar drew 125 participants, according to the release, and shared about the scope and plan for the development effort, and invited feedback from participants in the seminar.

USDA officials said the Organic Integrity Database is designed as a modernized certified organic operations database. Some of the goals for the project are to:

  • Contain up-to-date and accurate information;
  • Increase supply chain transparency;
  • Promote market visibility for organic operations;
  • Deter fraud by providing real-time accurate information about operations licensed to use the USDA organic seal;
  • Enable market research and supply chain connections between buyers and sellers;
  • Support international trading partner data needs: and
  • Increase pressure on suspended and revoked operations to stop marketing as organic, and increase NOP’s oversight reach over these operations.

USDA officials sought input during the Web seminar about what participants thought to be the most important features of the database, and also asked what other initiatives the agency should pursue related to the project, according to the release.

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