Native Ecosystem Verification Toolkit and Draft Guidance

toolkit guidance

Native Ecosystem Verification Toolkit and Draft Guidance

Thanks to WFA's leadership, and our partners, we have successfully encouraged the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to make the following new rule recommendation to the USDA National Organic Program:

Add to §205.2 Definitions

Native Ecosystems: Native ecosystems can be recognized in the field as retaining both dominant and characteristic plant species as described by established classifications of natural vegetation. These will tend to be on lands that have not been previously cultivated, cleared, drained or otherwise irrevocably altered. However, they could include areas that have recovered expected plant species composition and structure.

Add to §205.200 General

  • 205.200 The producer or handler of a production or handling operation intending to sell, label, or represent agricultural products as ‚Äú100 percent organic,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúorganic,‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúmade with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))‚ÄĚ must comply with the applicable provisions of this subpart. Production practices implemented in accordance with this subpart must maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation, including soil and water quality.

(a) A site supporting a native ecosystem cannot be certified for organic production as provided for under this regulation for a period of 10 years from the date of conversion.

In an effort to jumpstart the process of implementing the NOSB's recommendation, we have submitted a Draft Native Ecosystem Guidance to the NOP, and have created a complementary Organic Native Ecosystem Application and Verification Toolkit and corresponding videos to demonstrate how to use the online tools.