Posted on May 17, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

Organic beverage co-packer settles with USDA, agrees to fine

An Ohio organic operation agrees to 3-year partial suspension after pipeline dredges up prohibited substance

The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) said Friday that Flavorcraft Industries LLC, a certified-organic co-packer of beverages, will pay a $1,500 fine for producing and labeling products as organic before they were added to its organic certificate.

The agency made the announcement as part of a release of information on settlement agreements it reached with four U.S. certified-organic operations. USDA certified-organic operations may reach settlements with the NOP to avoid suspension or revocation of organic certification.

The settlement agreement with co-packer Flavorcraft of Louisville, Ky., which was certified organic in 2008 by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, also requires the company to stop producing or labeling any product, or flavor of product, as certified before certifier approval, and to undergo one unannounced inspection within one year.

In contrast to previous disclosures of settlement agreements, the NOP began last September to report settlement agreements in a new format that excludes an electronic PDF file of the actual settlement as well as the amounts of civil penalties the companies had agreed to pay.

The other three settlement agreements reported Friday include:

Wicmar Dairy of Cologne, Minn., which failed to submit its annual certification renewal documentation and appropriate fees in a timely manner, for insufficient record keeping, and for failing to make records available. As part of the settlement agreement, Wicmar agreed to:

  • submit annual certification renewal applications and fees on time
  • maintain and make available all organic sales records, crop yield records, pasture management records, rotational grazing and ration records for all livestock, and records for the sale of organically managed cull cows and organic crops
  • ensure all groups of animals receive a minimum of 30 percent dry matter intake (DMI) from available pasture during grazing season, and make DMI records available
  • not apply micronutrients to its crops unless there is a substantiated need
  • maintain an up-to-date Organic System Plan (OSP), Materials Input List, livestock list, and provide other required documentation by the deadline
  • undergo two unannounced inspections in the next year

Meadow Valley Farm (Miller) of Apple Creek, Ohio, has agreed to a partial suspension of its organic certification due to the presence of a prohibited substance caused when a pipeline was installed on the property. The partial suspension is effective for three years from the installation date for the affected land.

Summer Wind Farms, LLC of Newfield, N.J., which failed to timely submit its annual certification application, documentation and fees for two certification years. The company has agreed to submit its annual certification renewal application, all required documentation, and all required fees on time. Summer also agrees to respond to all certifier requirements by the deadline.

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