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OMRI ED Participates in International Anti-Fraud Initiative for the Organic Industry

(August 24, 2017) Peggy Miars, Executive Director/CEO for OMRI (the Organic Materials Review Institute) will travel from Eugene, Oregon to Odessa, Ukraine next month to participate in an international conference addressing fraud in the organic industry. Hosted by the Organic Integrity Network's Anti-Fraud Initiative (AFI), the conference will include a presentation from Miars titled Organic 3.0: approaches of IFOAM to safeguard organic integrity in growing global markets. As a global leader with 20 years of experience in organic material review, OMRI has led efforts to identify and reduce fraud in fertilizers and other inputs for organic use. Miars will represent OMRI while also serving in her capacity as a World Board member for IFOAM-Organics International.

The two-day conference will run September 21-22, and will include international importers, traders and feed mills, exporters, organic farmers and other stakeholders including the USDA National Organic Program and foreign government officials. Attendees will look at risk and other fraud issues, including a recently discovered and widely publicized case of organic grain that was mishandled during export. The organic grain in question originated in Ukraine, as do many U.S. grain and soy imports. Miars will also participate in an invitation-only pre-conference study tour along with government authorities, certification bodies operating in Ukraine, and accreditation bodies from Ukraine, the EU and the United States.

According to Miars, "I'm looking forward to connecting directly with participants from Ukraine and around the world. We all have a stake in organic integrity, from retailer to distributor to exporter to buyer to farmer, and even down to input suppliers and input reviewers. It's critical that each of us takes responsibility for our own part of the process, and that we work together to find systematic solutions."

Conference organizers acknowledge that the popularity and profitability of organic products mean that fraud is a persistent issue. For 10 years, IFOAM and AFI have been taking a proactive approach to addressing risk in the international organic market. The conference will focus on promoting awareness of anti-fraud controls and improving risk-oriented inspection methods. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the AFI website for more information: www.organic-integrity.org.

Contact: Amy Bradsher, Senior Marketing Director
(541) 343-7600 ext. 106