Traceability: different systems round the world
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Tracing the movement of goods in the organic sector both within the EU and worldwide leaves much to be desired. Even with the EU's new electronic certification system TRACES (Trade Control & Export System) optimum traceability can't be achieved.
In some countries, such as Italy, they have their own solutions. In reaction to the various cases of fraud in recent years they have a database called Check Organic that records all movement of cereals along the value chain. Control organisations in the USA now use this database.
However, this level of transparency doesn't exist across the whole of Europe. Suspicious cases are entered on the OFIS (Organic Farming Information System of the European Commission), and there is a link to TRACES. But it can be weeks or even months before a suspicious case has been dealt with – before an audit of the particular farm has been carried out. During this period the goods are blocked and the companies have to bear the financial damage this causes.
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