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About the Division

Bureau of Shipping Point Inspections

The Federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Service originated in 1917, but its authority was restricted to work in destination markets where the inspections were only made by Federal Market Inspectors. In 1922, Congress extended the service to shipping points by adding to the authority the words, “when offered for interstate shipment” and so began Idaho’s Bureau of Shipping Point Inspection. This service is a joint federal-state program entirely supported by fees collected from users of the service.

The bureau maintains a Boise headquarters along with four district offices strategically located in Idaho’s production areas. Locations are: Caldwell, Burley, Blackfoot, and Idaho Falls. The bureau is the largest in ISDA, serving producers, shippers and processors in 36 of the state’s 44 counties. Annually, the bureau performs inspections on 11 different commodities and certifies over 10 billion pounds of produce annually. To provide this service, the bureau supports a staff of 300 employees in 17 different job classifications. Although some positions are staffed year-round, 70 percent of the workforce is employed in seasonal, part-time positions.

Employees of the Shipping Point Inspection program inspect commodities for quality and condition at the shipping point, using official grade standards developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and ISDA for fresh fruits and vegetables. The Bureau of Shipping Point Inspection established a third party auditing program that helps Idaho producers and shippers meet retailers' increasing demand for Good Management Practices (GMPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).

In April of 2009, the ISDA signed a revised cooperative agreement with USDA to conduct surveillance reviews on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements as mandated by the 2002 and 2008 farm bills. These reviews are conducted by the Bureau of Shipping Point Inspection. Covered commodities include muscle cuts of beef (including veal), lamb, goat, pork, and chicken; ground beef (including veal), ground lamb, ground goat, ground pork, and ground chicken; farm-raised fish and shellfish (fresh and frozen); wild-caught fish and shellfish (fresh and frozen); perishable agricultural commodities such as fruit and vegetables (fresh and frozen); pecans; macadamia nuts; peanuts; and ginseng.

Organic Certification Program

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is an accredited organic certifying agency with the United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (NOP). Currently the Idaho Organic Program provides certification to approximately 300 producers and handlers in over 38 different commodities in 39 of Idaho’s 44 counties.

 Warehouse Control Program

The Warehouse Control Program protects commodity and seed producers from financial loss through education, regulation of public warehouses, commodity dealers and seed buyer facilities, and administration of the Commodity Indemnity Fund (CIF) and the Seed Indemnity Fund (SIF). Idaho’s agricultural warehouse and seed industries store and market a wide variety of commodities such as wheat, barley, oats, dry edible beans, peas, lentils, oilseeds and a number of other diverse grain and seed crops grown in Idaho

Warehouse examiners conduct reviews, which help to ensure that warehouse operators continue to maintain a stock of commodities reflective of what has been deposited by producers. Commodity dealers are also examined to ensure that producers are being paid for their agricultural commodities.

The Commodity Indemnity Fund (CIF) and the Seed Indemnity Fund (SIF) offer additional protection for producers in the event a warehouse, commodity dealer, or seed buyer fails financially. These two $12 million funds are supported by producers’ assessments and allow producers to recoup up to 90 percent of losses due to such a failure.

Bureau of Weights and Measures

The Bureau of Weights and Measures is responsible for statewide inspection of accuracy and suitability of commercial weighing and measuring devices such as vehicle and livestock scales, petroleum meters, gas pumps and propane meters. Packaged products are inspected to ensure net contents meet labeled weight, volume or count. The bureau investigates complaints of short delivery, misleading advertisements and monitors gasoline octane. The bureau is responsible for Idaho’s fuel quality and labeling. The metrology laboratory provides traceable calibration of mass, length and volume standards for the weights and measures program, registered service agencies and private industry needing National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceability. The metrology laboratory is currently recognized by NIST as a participant in the measurement assurance program for state laboratories.