Risk-oriented surveillance - Accreditation bodies cooperate internationally for organic integrity
From 20th to 21st May 2015, the third international training for assessors of Organic Production according to ISO/IEC 17065 takes place in Berlin, organized by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS). Its aim is to achieve an effective, risk-oriented surveillance of control bodies and the overall harmonization of international accreditation of certification bodies active in organic production.
“This training is truly essential to the harmonization of accreditation of organic controls worldwide”, says Wolfram Hartmann from DAkkS, who coordinates the event. It is already the second follow-up to the first successful event, held in Frankfurt/Main in January 2013. Including an expected total of 35 participants from 18 countries, the event will again grow considerably.
The agenda comprises among other topics i.e. the revision of the EU-Organic Regulation including the concepts of equivalence and compliance, EA activities in the sector of organic production, in particular the application of EA-3/12 M:2013 EA-Policy for the Accreditation of Organic Production Certification and risk-oriented assessments by accreditation bodies.
The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development at the EU-Commission (DG AGRI) as well as the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) will present specific issues on organic accreditation. Among them are the functionality of the OFIS database tool and the evaluation of the annual reports of control bodies from third countries. A proposal by BLE for new guidelines for the assessment of control bodies from third countries consulted with the German association of control bodies (KdK) will be discussed as well.
“I congratulate DAkkS to host this important event”, says Jochen Neuendorff, chairman of the DAkkS sector committee Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability. “International harmonization of the surveil-lance of organic product certification has a huge relevance for consumer protection and shall avoid replication of surveillance activities by accreditation bodies and authorities in the future. This saves costs for the organic sector and increases consumer confidence.”