Posted on September 5, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

U.S. organic broker’s parent co. settles with National Organic Program

Organic rice pasta producer agrees to label finished organic products and separate them from conventional products

The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) reported Wednesday settlement agreements with organic operations in Turkey and Thailand.

Nimeks Organic Tarim Urunleri Ltd. is a grower, processor and exporter of organic and conventional food products, based in the seaport city of Izmir, Turkey. The company maintains organic certification from Ecocert S.A., which had first certified the company as organic in 2003.

The company’s U.S. operations are handled by its Whitehall, Pa.-based broker/trader Natural Food Source Inc. dba Nimeks Organics, which was certified as a handler of organics by Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) in 2007. The company trades a variety of dried fruits and nuts, pulses, IQF fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juice concentrates.

The NOP said under the terms of the settlement agreement for its Malatya facility, Nimeks has agreed to:

  • provide its certifier with copies of the noncompliance and proposed adverse actions when seeking organic certification
  • notify NOP of its certification application and the name and address of the certifier to which it was submitted
  • take the corrective actions needed to resolve noncompliances cited, and allow the certifier to conduct an inspection to verify actions taken

The noncompliances referred to by NOP were not disclosed.

The other settlement agreement involved Family Tree Foods Co., Ltd. of Rayong, Thailand, which manufactures varieties of gluten-free organic rice pasta using raw material processed from organic rice grown by farmers in Thailand’s northeast and central region.

The company was certified organic by Certification of Environmental Standards GmbH (CERES) in 2016.

Under the terms of its settlement agreement, Family Tree Foods has agreed to:

  • label all incoming raw ingredients, storing organic ingredients separately from conventional ones
  • get approval before using all product labels
  • maintain updated records for all ingredients
  • maintain appropriate records on reworked ingredients to enable traceback
  • label finished organic products and separate them from conventional products
  • maintain all documentation for certifier to conduct traceability and mass balance audits
  • respond to all certifier requests on time
  • undergo an unannounced inspection within three months

Any additional information regarding details that led to the settlement agreement were not disclosed by the NOP.

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