IRM-Organic: improve risk orientation in organic controls!
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
At the mid-term conference of the EU Leonardo-project IRM-Organic in Salzburg, around 60 representatives of control bodies and control authorities from 17 countries discussed risk-oriented inspection methods for organic inspectors (picture). The aim of the project is to ensure that these methods are in future applied across the whole of Europe. The conclusion of the organic inspectors: more risk orientation when carrying out controls not only makes the organic market safer but also makes organic controls more readily accepted by organic farmers and companies.
The German and Italian project partners of IRM-Organic presented the results of the following: extensive interviews with experts in various European countries; a Europe-wide online survey of organic inspectors; an analysis of the qualifications required for carrying out official food and animal feed inspections and of the approach of private certification programs for food and feed safety to risk-oriented controls.
A curriculum was developed from these results. It concentrates on: a control methodology oriented towards major areas of risk; the concept of critical organic control points and checks of international trade-exchange of organic products including their traceability. Europe-wide train-the-trainer courses for trainers from control authorities and control bodies training organic inspectors will now be implemented.
Experts from France, Austria, Poland and Switzerland were unanimous in a panel discussion about the current proposals of the EU Commission to revise the organic control system. In their view, integrating the existing control system into the official controls for food and animal feed will not increase the effectiveness of organic controls. The Commission’s proposals say nothing about improving fraud prevention. Further information is available on the project’s homepage www.irm-organic.eu.
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