Creating Transparency through an Organic Integrity Database
In 2014, the NOP started developing an Organic Integrity Database, also known as INTEGRITY, to prevent fraud in the organic sector through up-to-date and accurate information and transparent supply chains. While a technology partner was quickly found with the Harmonia Holdings Group, which already was a federal vendor at that time, the NOP still lacked in-depth insights into the organic certification industry and its systems.
With Intact being the market leader for audit and certification management solutions in the US organic industry, the NOP identified Intact as the sole source providing access into the organic data provider community and bringing highly specialized expertise for requirements and design. After less than a year of conception and development, INTEGRITY went live in September of 2015.
“INTEGRITY is a great example of how technology investments and strong partnerships can support market integrity and development.”
Integrity has received broad praise from the organic community. Trade, industry, and consumers use INTEGRITY for market analysis and to search for and check the certification status of organic operations and products. Food processors are even using INTEGRITY to identify supply chain development opportunities.
In June 2016, the INTEGRITY team (NOP, Intact, and Harmonia) won an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator’s Award for outstanding service delivery. Only three months later, the team was also awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary’s Honor Award for developing and launching INTEGRITY.
Efficient Accreditation for US Organic Certifiers
After the successful launch of INTEGRITY, where Intact contributed as a consultant, the NOP also implemented the Intact Platform for auditing and accrediting certification bodies under the USDA organic regulations. Operating as a public-private partnership, NOP accredits private companies and helps train their inspectors to certify that farms and businesses meet the national organic standards. USDA and accredited certifiers also work together to enforce the standards, ensuring a level playing field for producers and protecting consumer confidence in the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal.
The Intact Platform provides the NOP with a robust, standardized, yet flexible system for the accreditation of all certification bodies in the US organic sector and allows the NOP to work efficiently and cost-effective.