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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

MS encounter difficulties in ensuring the traceability of organic products

According to the latest report by European Court of Auditors,  a number of competent authorities in the Member States do not sufficiently fulfill their supervisory role over control bodies. As a result certain control bodies fail to satisfy a number of EU requirements and fail to take the opportunity to implement certain good practices. The competent authorities in Member States encounter difficulties in ensuring the traceability of organic products within their territories and such traceability is even more difficult to achieve for products that have crossed borders. In relation to imported organic products, the system governing the various import schemes was also found to have weaknesses.
Notably, a number of recommendations are made to remedy the weaknesses found during the ECA’s audit: the competent Member State authorities should strengthen their supervisory role over control bodies;  the exchange of information within Member States, between the Member States and the Commission and among the Member States themselves should be improved;checks should be strengthened to ensure that operators (such as producers, processors, importers) fulfill the regulatory requirements regarding traceability; and the Commission should strengthen its monitoring of the Member States’ control systems by undertaking audit visits and gathering the necessary data and information and putting it to good use. Additionally, regarding imports, the Commission should ensure that the countries in the list of those recognised as being equivalent for organic production are adequately supervised.

Source: European Commission