Organic Program Support
IFC knows the organic food industry and has been working with organically certified facilities even before USDA first introduced the official National Organic Program in 2000. IFC helps our clients with pest management programs that are performed in accordance with NOP rules and we can help customize your facility programs so that they meet your organic certifier’s specifications
What is the National Organic ProgramUSDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) is a marketing regulation. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service oversees this program and utilizes accredited certifying agents to verify compliance by organic producers. NOP regulations govern what products can be labeled “100 percent organic,” “organic,” and “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).”
What is USDA’s National List
The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances specifies the allowed synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic materials for organic crop and livestock production.
Can Pesticides Be Used at Organic Facilities
Pesticides may be used in a facility that produces organic products when using a stepwise approach and after implementing protective measures to preserve the organic integrity of organic products following the Facility Pest Management Practice Standard. IFC can help document pest activity and recommend appropriate pesticides to combat the pest. Your organic certifier will want to see that pesticide applications are used only as needed, based on documented pest activity, not a predetermined schedule. All pesticides utilized must be part of your approved organic system plan that is reviewed by your certifier and discussed with your certifying agent so that protective measures are adequate and selected pesticides are agreed upon.
- Preventive Practices: The organic certifying agent will need to see that all appropriate preventive practices were first implemented before utilizing pesticides. Good pest management programs, whether for organic or non-organic facilities, incorporate many preventive practices on a daily basis, such as exclusion, sanitation, controlling temperature, lures and traps. Inspection of traps can serve as a monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive practices and demonstrate to the certifier why chemical solutions are needed.
- Nonsynthetic Substances and Materials Consistent with the National List: If pest problems continue after implementing preventive practices, discuss with your certifier the use of a nonsynthetic pesticide that is not prohibited, such as botanicals (e.g., pyrethrum) or a synthetic substance consistent with the National List. Remember that pesticide products must be registered in the state where used, and some granular/dust formulations are not appropriate for use in food handling facilities.|
- Conventional Pesticides: If the pest problem still persists after implementing preventive practices, nonsynthetics and materials consistent with the National List, then a conventional pesticide treatment may be needed. The NOP contains recordkeeping requirements for certified operations. Records as they pertain to pesticide applications need to disclose all application activities in sufficient detail as to be readily understood, audited and to demonstrate compliance. Such records might consist of pesticide application records, pest monitoring logs, pest management inspection reports or documentation that previous treatment measures were ineffective. Your facility pest management plan should include proposed plans for use of pesticides, the conditions for their use, and measures to prevent pesticide contact with the organically produced products or ingredients