Strengthening Organic Enforcement Handler Forms Update
With the rollout and implementation of the new Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rules, there are changes to the data and information that certifying agents like Americert must collect from applicants and additional rules that operations must comply with. Further, Americert has not conducted a core update to our handler application forms in more than 5 years. Accordingly, Americert has undertaken a forms revision process that will lead to updated handler forms this year.
The benefits of the new forms will be as follows:
· By updating forms, Americert can ensure that we collect the information required by the USDA National Organic Program, and cease collection of information that is not as relevant in the current environment---that will lead to a more efficient application completion, application review, and inspection. After an initial familiarization and adaptation period, this will lead to time savings for all participants.
· The new forms are modular in design, which means that once they have been completed once, they will only need to be updated when information in the module changes. This will save time in submitting annual renewal applications.
· The new forms are intended to be closely aligned with the new Strengthening Organic Enforcement rules and if completed properly will ensure compliance on your part with many aspects of the new rules.
The proposed time table for the roll out of the new forms is as follows:
· All handler operations currently certified will complete the new form H1A Intake Module, which requests basic information about the operation and is about 4 pages long, most of which are checkboxes and yes/no questions. Americert intends to contact all operations the first week of January requesting that the operation complete the form within 30 days.
· Americert will review the Intake Module and draft a short description of the additional forms that will need to be completed by the operation for their annual renewal. This description and the forms will be sent to operations. Operations will use the new forms to submit their annual renewal.
· Once the complete set of forms has been submitted by the operation and approved by Americert, operations will only have to edit or revise a form if the information in the form changes. This means that future annual renewals will not include any long forms that need to be completed from scratch, and forms will only need to be updated if information changes.
Please review the new form here: