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Consultant on: Organic products EG 834/2007
Organic products are being produced for more than 35 years, of which I have been joining18years during my daily work. In the beginning the definition of organic products had been determined through producers and organisations, which has caused quite a lot of differences for the standards. When EG 2092/91 has been enacted at 1991 a minimum standard has been defined but at that time was widely exceeded by many companies.
The levelling of the quality is actual reality. Only experts are able to compare the different standards and judge quality correctly. The experience, that increasing documentation does not lead to a safer organic product, has been shown through scandals throughout the organic sectors which makes the consumers feel insecure.
With increasing access to the organic market by discounters the organic market increased the number of clients, but as well there are more cases of fraud, because of more competition. Some raw materials are not sufficient anymore, which leads to a steep increase of prices or very bad quality. The actual ORGANIC-Image is quite fragile. Therefore it is very important for every organic company to assure perfectly that all the necessary tests had been done.
Especially independent, sometimes even unannounced controls are a very important instrument. Someone who knows the procedure and the costs of audits from certifiers, knows that additional controls can reduce the risk quite well. Certification agencies are within the competition so bad audits with binding agreements or even withdrawals of the certificate are very rare.My recommendation:
Check the qualification of the auditors and ask your suppliers for the certification audits. In case you are instructing audits, check the qualification of the auditors and ask for additional parameters. In general this can only be done after the certification audits, but with only little extra costs You are becoming a client of the certification authority as well.
After 15years of organic certification again we are at the point where the safety of an organic product is depending quite strongly on the personal responsibility of the producer. In case only financial reasons caused the conversion of the product into organic production attention and controls are a must. As there is no total control of quantity for all products at the certification audit cheating by increasing the quantity of an organic product is still possible.
With my long term experience especially within the organic sector I am able to give advice at a quite wide spectrum.
My support in the following sectors could be:
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