Where do current organic control systems need strengthening?
There are two main regulations that determine organic control systems around the World, defined by the two main markets: Europe and USA. They apply both to organic production in those regions, and also to imports from ‘third countries’ being marketed there.
The analysis carried out by IOAS that led to the formation of the Alliance, identified a range of organic control issues that needed strengthening, for example:
- there is a welcome increase in emphasis on risk-based approaches to improve effectiveness and target resources, but these are still poorly understood, ill-defined and inadequately applied across inspection, certification and accreditation;
- in response to identified problems, authorities and scheme owners tend to increase requirements and bureaucracy without necessarily addressing the root cause, which is more likely to just add cost and further inflexibility;
- training of control system staff is variable with no defined requirements for continuing professional development;
- the terms of engagement for control system staff sometimes mitigate against proper investigation of deficiencies, due to cost, time and performance pressures;
- communication between control bodies can be stifled by competition and by sometimes spurious confidentiality issues;
- competence in input-output reconciliation and and trace-back auditing techniques, sampling, risk analysis, internal reviews, root cause analysis, etc is variable, thus weakening the effectiveness of inspections and the quality of certification decisions.
The Alliance as undertaken a range of training activities across the World, including: