Control benefits organic production

25.5.2011

<p>Organic production in Finland benefits from control, but individual operators benefit less. This was revealed by a Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira customer survey on organic production control. Almost 80 per cent of respondents were of the opinion that control benefits organic production significantly or fairly significantly. Correspondingly, only one half of respondents found control beneficial to individual operators.</p>

Customers viewed the aim of organic production control as ensuring that organic production is in compliance with rules and regulations. Market surveillance of organic products was also deemed important. Many responses pointed to the need for advice on organic control.

In the respondents’ opinion, problems associated with organic control included its variability in different parts of the country and between different lines of production. Operations are also hampered by the range of legislation, with its varying requirements which must be reconciled.

In practical terms, the issues listed as the most difficult in terms and conditions of production were those related to organic seed and the feeding of animals, bookkeeping obligations and subcontracting.

Respondents would prefer more practically oriented and less bureaucratic inspections. Some respondents hoped for the possibility to fill in the inspection form in advance, in order to speed up the actual inspection. They also wanted the content and frequency of inspections to be influenced by previous results.

Operators hoped that Evira would pass on more information and produce clearer websites. In addition, there was a desire for more consumer information on organic control requirements.

Between the end of March and mid-May, Evira collected feedback on organic control, receiving 172 responses to its survey. Less than one third of respondents were organic farmers and approximately one half also raised organic animals. The majority of respondents came from the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland. Survey results will be utilised in the further development of organic control.

For more information, please contact:
Beata Meinander, Senior Inspector, Evira, tel. +358 400 571 033

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