New regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would strengthen oversight and tracking of organic imports and represent a landmark regulation for the growing industry, according to Mercaris in its July Monthly Market Update.

On July 8, USDA released an unofficial draft of the Strengthening Organic Enforcement Proposed Rule (SOE). The rule creates new import-specific tracing and reporting requirements to ensure transparency in the growing organic market.

“These changes would mark a turning point in organic market transparency, the importance of which it is difficult to overstate,” said Ryan Koory, Director of Economics at Mercaris.


Essentially, the SOE would require all parties, not just commodity handlers, in the trade of organic commodities to be certified by an organic certification agency and for all organic imports to be electronically reported to and monitored by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, among other measures.

“In addition to strengthening organic regulations in general, the SOE offers to give significant teeth to the USDA’s ability to oversee U.S. organic imports,” Koory said.

In addition to the discussion about the USDA proposed rule, the July Monthly Market Update features major supply and demand factors for organic grains including organic livestock production and year-to-date import data for organic corn and soybeans. For more information,