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Organic Trade Group Launches Fraud Prevention Program
USAgNet - 09/12/2019

In a significant enhancement to its arsenal of tools available to the organic sector to help fight fraud, the Organic Trade Association on Wednesday announced the development of three online training courses to bolster its Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program.

The training courses have been designed for organic businesses, accredited certifiers and organic inspectors, with one of the courses a pre-requisite for businesses pre-enrolled in the program. The groundbreaking Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program was launched by the Organic Trade Association earlier this year, and almost four dozen organic businesses have joined.

The new anti-fraud courses will analyze where opportunities for crime in the organic supply chain most commonly occur, and will educate on the key components of the Organic Fraud Prevention Plan and how to put it into real on-the-job practice.

They will be built on the Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program's guide, which lays out a systematic process that businesses can implement to identify and minimize vulnerability to organic fraud.

"Anytime there is fraud anywhere in the organic system, it takes value out of the organic label," said Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Affairs for the Organic Trade Association and staff coordinator for the association's Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity Task Force.

"Everyone plays a role in preventing organic fraud, and our members have been engaged and committed to helping the organic system better police itself. Our partnership with Michigan State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in creating these new training sessions will strengthen our ability to protect against fraud and maintain the integrity of organic," said Wyard.

The three online courses will be available in late 2019 and early 2020. All of the courses will be based on content in the Organic Trade Association's Organic Fraud Prevention Guide and the food fraud prevention model developed by Michigan State University's (MSU) Food Fraud Initiative. MSU's Food Fraud Initiative is an interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach organization that focuses on types of food fraud that can weaken and threaten our public health and economy.

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