Title Training on improved risk management tools for organic inspectors
Project Number DE/12/LLP-LdV/TOI/147503
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The aim of this project was to activate an exchange on state of the art-inspection methods and techniques in different European countries. Train-the-trainer courses on risk orientated organic inspection were carried out to motivate organic control bodies in Europe to use their resources in a concerted way to optimize consumer protection and fair competition on the emerging green market for products from organic farming.
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.
First step of the project was to define in detail the necessary learning contents for organic inspectors with regard to risk-orientation and fraud prevention. On the basis of this data a tailor-made professional development (CPD) train-the-trainer concept was developed. The CPD-courses were implemented as trial runs, the first one was in Aprim 2014 in Poland, the second in May in Austria, and the third and fourth in June in Italy and Germany; after each course an evalutation took place and the original concept was adjusted to the results.
The final curriculum of the CPD-courese was presented to interested stakeholders at a conference in Warsaw in September.
The project was implemented by the European partners of the Quavera consortium (www.quavera.org), an alliance of product certification bodies accredited according to EN 45011.
The project was focussed on the use of state of the art inspection methods and instruments by control bodies and contributed to the use of risk management tools by organic inspectors and control bodies. The aim was to improve consumer protection and fair competition amongst operators as well as contribute to a harmonization among the member states.
The interest in the project was very high, so since the finalisation of the project, a train-the-trainer course was carried out in Serbia in October 2014 and a course in Mexico was scheduled for December 2014.
The project consortium will continue to offer train-the-trainer courses on risc oriented inspections in the future.
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
transparency and certification
program or curricula
open and distance learning
Webpage (www.irm-organic.eu)with internal section for project partners and an e-learning platform.
Reports on training needs and existing trainings for organic inspectors and on analysis of training approaches and concepts in food and feed control and certification can be downloaded.
A Train-the-Trainer course on improved risk management tools for organic inspectors is available on request as well.