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Online processing certification de-mystified

Date Published: 26/03/2009

A new guide has been unveiled which aims to take the mystery out of gaining organic status for food and drink products.

The Organic Farmers & Growers 'Guide to Organic Certification: Processing'
The Organic Farmers & Growers 'Guide to Organic Certification: Processing'

The 24-page booklet is the work of leading certifier, Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G), and is intended to be an invaluable resource for any food manufacturer looking to achieve organic status for new or existing product lines. It is being made available free of charge.

The Guide to Organic Certification:Food Processing has been written by the experts in the OF&G Processor Department, ensuring it is up-to-date with the latest requirements of the EU Organic Regulation and spells out in straightforward language each stage of achieving certification.

Crucially, there are examples of the all the key forms to be filled in, demonstrating how this should be done, as well as flow charts to highlight the main steps to be followed.

OF&G Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, said: “There are too many myths around obtaining organic certification for a product. It’s not rocket science, it’s about organisation. If you have a product that can qualify as organic, the next step is to get it approved so that you can start to reap the benefits, in terms of customer trust.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on carefully producing this guide, ensuring nothing was missed, and we’re very pleased with it because we think it’s going to make life easier for a lot of people. In fact, that includes us, because if applicants can get their paperwork and processes in order from the start, the whole process is simpler for everyone!”

Topics covered in the guide include: a breakdown of the certification process; how to compile an organic procedure for use on-site; what to expect from the inspection; how to resolve non-compliances, post inspection.

Richard added: “The kind of help people need can come down to knowing what to write where on a form. Seeing example forms in the guide, filled in, should help everyone to translate that to their own business. We’re not aware of anything quite so comprehensive and practically-focused available anywhere else in the UK.”

Copies of the new guide will be sent to new processor applicants to OF&G but are also available as a free download from the OF&G website or on request from the organisation’s Shropshire headquarters. Call 0845 3305122 or email processors@organicfarmers.org.uk.