AMS National Organic Program Strengthens Organic Control Systems through Training

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AMS National Organic Program Strengthens Organic Control Systems through Training

The National Organic Program Hosts Organic Control Systems Training in Chile

Chile - OCS Training

Over the past decade, the Latin American region has seen significant growth in the production and market share of organic agriculture, with many countries becoming key U.S. trading partners for organic products. Ensuring strong organic control systems and harmonized regulations in these countries is important for protecting the integrity of organic products imported for sale in the U.S., and for facilitating trade.

On April 24-28, 40 delegates from the competent authorities (typically government agencies) for organic agriculture from 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Santiago, Chile, to participate in a training on organic control systems. The training was organized through a partnership between the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, the Inter-American Commission for Organic Agriculture, and Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture. Instructors from The American National Standards Institute delivered the course content.

The training provided an overview of standards under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that are relevant for organic control systems, including ISO Guides 17011, 17065, and 17021. Participants were given opportunities to apply core concepts from the standards to real challenges they face in the regulation, certification and enforcement of organic products. Through these activities, delegates learned ways to help them lead the development of stronger control systems and clear, enforceable organic regulations in their own countries.

For the NOP, the training was an important opportunity to build knowledge and partnerships that will protect the integrity of organic products traded in the Western Hemisphere. The training was also an important step towards preparing trading partners for possible future organic equivalency arrangements that will benefit organic producers both in the U.S. and in Latin America.