The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will begin issuing inspection certificates and audit reports in multiple different formats. Over the next year, AMS will be developing and implementing a new web-based platform to modernize USDA specialty crops inspection and audit services. The new platform, the Specialty Crops Integrated Operating Network (SCION) will be deployed in three releases.
Last month, AMS began using SCION for processed lot inspections, plant surveys, and USDA Good Agricultural Practices audits conducted by federal officials. The other two stages of deployment are expected to be launched in January and April of next year. As AMS further deploys the new system, stakeholders may receive either traditional inspection and audit documents, or SCION-generated information. Deputy Administrator of Specialty Crops Programs, Sonia Jimenez has said the expectation is that by sometime in the middle of 2022, SCION will be complete and put to full use.
Listen to the radio report below.