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Training on improved risk management tools for organic inspectors

Controls according to Reg. (EC) No. 834/2007 shall assure consumer confidence into products from organic farming in all member states of the European Union. In most of the member states, the controls are implemented by private control bodies, accredited to the European standard EN 45011 and approved and supervised by competent authorities. All control bodies are required by EN 45011 to conduct regular trainings for their inspectors according to the needs identified by regular performance reviews addressing the individual training needs of staff and inspectors.During recent years, the organic marketplace has grown considerably in most of the EU member states, and its structure became more complex. More large and specialized farms started to produce organically, and more and more processed organic products were put on the market. Trade exchange of organic products becomes more common between the EU member states and with third countries. Today, organic inspectors therefore require detailed and sophisticated knowledge on critical points in the organic production chain with international trade exchange. Furthermore inspectors need to know methodologies for improved risk based inspection approaches towards farmers, processing facilities, importers, feed mills and traders of products from organic farming.Also a number of fraud cases in the EU concerning products from organic farming occurred. Often larger fraud cases concerned different member states and cross border sales, also taking advantage from different national approaches towards controls. A few member states and the EU implemented projects to improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of the organic control system. These results have received broad interest of control bodies in several member states. Unfortunately, these project results are not available in different languages yet, not prioritized, not adapted to the specific realities of other member states and not transferred into a training concept.With tailor-made train-the-trainer courses on risk oriented inspection tools, this project facilitated an open-minded exchange between control bodies in Europe on state-of the art inspection methodologies and techniques to optimize consumer protection and fair competition on the emerging green market for products from organic farming.

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