The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) reported Thursday that an organic dairy farmer in Indiana has settled noncompliances by agreeing to the approval of its organic certifier for all inputs prior to their use and to ensure all animals have year-round access to the outdoors and pasture, among other conditions.
According to the NOP’s Organic Integrity Database, Daniel Lapp, of Economy, Ind., maintains three organic certificates for crops, handling and livestock, which were granted in November 2016 by Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).
The NOP said settlements resolve noncompliance issues with federal organic standards, and are typically “executed as alternatives to administrative proceedings that may result in suspension or revocation of certification.”
The NOP changed the way it released information on settlement agreements last year, telling Sustainable Food News at the time that it was “updating the reporting procedures for settlement actions in order to ensure consistency across program areas,” and that information released on settlements going forward would be “formatted in the same way other regulatory programs handle this type of enforcement action.”
That means, in contrast to previous disclosures of settlement agreements, the new reporting format does not include an electronic PDF file of the actual settlement nor does it include any explanation as to what led to the agreement or any amounts of civil penalties the companies had agreed to pay.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, according to the information on the NOP website, Daniel Lapp has also agreed to:
- ensure that all groups of animals receive at least 30 percent of dry matter intake (DMI) from pasture and maintain adequate DMI, feed, feed ration and feed sourcing records
- maintain clean, dry bedding for animals in barns and submit bedding purchase receipts to its certifier
- maintain adequate seed and seed search documentation
- respond to certifier requests on time
- maintain cleaning records for rented and owned equipment
- undergo one unannounced inspection within the next year
- ensure all animals have year-round access to the outdoors and pasture
- get certifier approval for all inputs prior to their use