Posted on September 11, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

Organic fraud prevention training goes online

Organic Trade Assoc. says 3 new training courses based on its fraud prevention guide

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) said Wednesday announced the development of three online training courses to bolster its Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions (OFPS) program, which launched in March.

The Washington, D.C.-based trade group said the training courses, available in late 2019 and early 2020, 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 OFPS program.

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

One of the courses, “Developing and Implementing an Organic Fraud Prevention Plan,” is a pre-requisite for organic operations pre-enrolled in the OFPS program and runs five to seven hours in length. The course is offered through MSU’s Food Fraud Initiative and its Massive Open On-line Courses for Food Fraud (MOOC).

The other two courses, designed for inspectors and certifiers, will be offered through USDA’s Organic Integrity Learning Center. All of the courses are free, and are online on-demand self-directed courses for self-paced learning.

Companies interested in enrolling in the program are encouraged to participate in the “Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions” webinar on Sept. 19, which will provide an update on the program. (Register here.)

“Anytime there is fraud anywhere in the organic system, it takes value out of the organic label,” said  Gwendolyn Wyard, OTA’s vice president of regulatory and technical affairs and staff coordinator for OTA’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.”

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