Certifier Grants Fee Relief, Temporarily Suspends Audits Due to COVID-19

A Greener World announces temporary policy changes to accommodate farms and businesses, minimize travel and support remote compliance

Nonprofit farm certifier and food label, A Greener World (AGW), has suspended audits until May 26 to support efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to help relieve the financial and logistical burden for certified farms and facilities.

 





 

The organization originally announced a suspension of travel on March 5, to be reviewed regularly. Upon review A Greener World agreed to extend the travel suspension and make additional provisions to address new developments and realities associated with the pandemic. To support its partners in prioritizing animal care and economic realities, A Greener World has:

  • Suspended physical audits until May 26, at which point the situation will be reviewed;
  • Extended deadlines and remove penalties for compliance documents;
  • Suspended the collection of any audit or late fees;
  • Temporarily renewed expiring certificates while auditing activities are suspended.

A Greener World may consider case-by-case exceptions for urgent needs, provided all parties approve and CDC recommendations for disease prevention and social distancing are followed. If the organization becomes aware of standards violations (actual or alleged) it may take additional action. A Greener World is also exploring options for remote or virtual auditing, in concert with review of records and other documentation.

AGW Executive Director Andrew Gunther says,
“During this challenging and unprecedented time we recognize that the first priority is keeping people safe and doing everything we can to stop the spread of this deadly disease. We also want to make sure vulnerable farms and business survive this–we certainly don’t want a farmer who just lost their market to be worried about how to pay their audit invoice. While our compliance department continues to support certification, we are putting a significant amount of time and resources toward supporting our farmers and businesses in surviving this rapid market change–through spreading the word about online sales, technical and marketing support, and making matches with market supplies and demands.

These accommodations will allow our partners to focus on immediate and pressing needs, address the reality of the situation while preserving the integrity of this precious market. We look forward to resuming normal operations–and supporting our partners in doing so–as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we invite producers to get in touch if they need any support–we are committed to helping in any way possible during this time.”

For more information on how A Greener World is responding to COVID-19 please visit https://agreenerworld.org/resources/covid-19/.

 





 

ABOUT A GREENER WORLD
A Greener World (AGW) identifies, audits, certifies and promotes practical, sustainable farming systems by supporting farmers and ranchers and informing consumers. AGW’s growing family of trusted certifications includes Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, SalmonWelfare Certified by AGWCertified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW. Each program is designed to have positive and measurable impacts on the environment, society and animals, and to encourage truly sustainable farming practices. AGW’s standards and procedures are robust, transparent and achievable.

A nonprofit funded by donations, AGW offers a range of resources to help people make informed food choices, including an Online Directory of certified farms and products and Food Labels Exposed–a definitive guide to food label claims (available in print and online). For more information visit  agreenerworld.org.

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