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Farm Audits/Inspections: Case Study

Clients:
Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association
Demeter Standards Limited.

Nature of work:
To physically inspect farms and food processors seeking certification to produce organic food produce or products.

The EU regulation governing organic food production requires an annual inspection and occasional unannounced spot checks.

Following each inspection a report is prepared that highlights the compliance or otherwise of all aspects of the farming or processing operation.

Examples of farm enterprises inspected:
Livestock (Dairying, beef, sheep, pigs, poultry, deer, equine)
Arable (cereals, root crops, forage crops)
Horticultural crops and enterprises

Examples of processing operations include:
Dairy products
Meat processing
Animal feed compounding
Milling and baking production
Jam and preserve manufacture
Box delivery schemes.

Summary:
On each farm visit an assessment is made on the following topics:
Soil management and cultivations
Crop rotations
Recycling of organic wastes and use of fertilising materials
Weed, disease and pest control
Environment management and conservation
Environmental pollution/spraydrift
Harvesting, storage, transport, labelling and packaging
Livestock housing and diets
Animal health and veterinary treatments
Record-keeping

On each processor visit an assessment is made on the following topics:
The processing operation from raw material intake to dispatch of final product
Recipes for organic products
Certification of organic integrity of raw materials
Ability to separate organic and non-organic operations and materials
Traceability and control systems in place
Records of goods inwards and outwards
Pest control and hygiene procedures
Labelling and packaging.

Following the visit to the farm or production premises a report is compiled that highlights the compliances and non-compliances of the operation and a recommendation is made to the Certification Panel of the Organic Certification Body.

Newtown, Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland Tel/Fax: 041 9814751 Email: bellagri@eircom.net