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OMRI Ends Mexico Review Program

Due to the uncertain regulatory and enforcement conditions in Mexico, paired with limited demand for Mexico Review Standard (LPO) listings, the OMRI Mexico Products List© will be discontinued on June 1, 2024. 

The Mexican organic sector continues to be important to OMRI. A sizeable volume of USDA certified organic foods come from Mexico. About a quarter of OMRI’s clients are located in Mexico, and 99% of those clients produce USDA National Organic Program (NOP)-compliant inputs. OMRI will continue to review inputs produced in Mexico to NOP standards, and to the Canada Organic Regime (COR) standards for inclusion on the OMRI Products List© and OMRI Canada Products List©. OMRI will also continue to support the growth of the organic sector in Mexico by cooperating with organizations such as ACAMEX (the Association of Approved Certifiers in Mexico) to provide input review trainings and technical support for organic professionals. The change away from Mexico review will also allow OMRI’s bilingual staff to shift their focus to making OMRI resources and educational materials available in Spanish, and to providing bilingual customer service to OMRI’s NOP and COR clients. 

Multiple factors informed this decision. When OMRI initiated the Mexico Review program, it was expected that the U.S. and Mexico would achieve an organic equivalency agreement, and that the Mexican government would enforce regulations enacted in 2020 requiring organic food produced in Mexico for export to be certified organic under the LPO standards. So far, neither has happened. The Mexican organic regulations are also complex, and undergo frequent, and sometimes substantial revisions. Without major clarifications and alignment of the standards across government agencies and programs, OMRI will continue to face challenges in interpreting the regulations, and keeping the standards up-to-date and accurate. 

In the four years since the launch of the Mexico review program, the OMRI Mexico Products List has never exceeded 100 products, indicating low demand for the program. Furthermore, OMRI Listed® products are not currently legally recognized as compliant products for organic use by SENASICA (the Service for the National Health for Food Safety and Food Quality).

Should circumstances change in the future, OMRI may consider resuming LPO reviews. In the meantime, as a mission-driven, nonprofit organization, OMRI must focus resources where they can make the greatest impact in the organic sector. Over the past four years, limited practical outcomes have been seen from the investment in the Mexico program. 

Regarding the future of the NOP and COR review programs, stakeholders can be confident that those programs remain essential to OMRI’s mission. OMRI actively engages with U.S. and Canadian government agencies at all levels of the regulatory process, and stakeholders recognize and use OMRI decisions. 

Contact: Roger Plant, OMRI Marketing Manager
(541) 343-7600, ext. 132