Jim Riddle, University of Minnesota
Organic Systems Plan Requirements
In order to be certified, §205.201 of the National Organic Program (NOP) final rule (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], 2000) requires that all organic dairy and livestock producers complete Organic System Plans that:
- Describe their production practices;
- List and describe all substances used and planned for use by the operation;
- Describe the monitoring practices used to assure that the operation follows the requirements;
- Describe their recordkeeping system;
- Describe steps taken to prevent contamination or commingling; and
- Provide other information requested by the certification agency.
Record Keeping Requirements
Section 205.103 requires that all organic operations, including livestock and dairy producers, must maintain records that:
- disclose all activities and transactions;
- are auditable;
- demonstrate compliance with all applicable requirements;
- are maintained for at least five years; and
- are made available to organic inspectors and certification agencies.
In addition, §205.236(c) requires that "the producer of an organic livestock operation must maintain records sufficient to preserve the identity of all organically managed animals and edible and non-edible animal products produced on the operation," (USDA, 2000). This means that all organic animals must be tagged, named, grouped in flocks, or otherwise identified, with corresponding records maintained of all health events and medications or activities; all feeds and feed supplements purchased and consumed for all stages of life; housing and pasture rotations; etc. Records must also be maintained of all products produced, including meat, milk, eggs, wool, and so forth.
For further information, see Organic System Plan Overview.
References and Citations
- United States Department of Agriculture. 2000. National organic program: Final rule. Codified at 7 C.F.R., part 205. (Available online at: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=3f34f4c22f9aa8e6d9864cc2683cea02&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title07/7cfr205_main_02.tpl) (verified 8 Dec 2015).