Another year passes and with increased numbers of companies wanting to take advantage of the Certified Organic market, we have definitely seen even tighter controls and checks in place to ensure that companies are in full compliance with the laws in place.
This year saw us double our production space to keep up with the increasing demand and the yearly audit couldn’t have come at a busier time for us! However, thanks to our entire team who live and breath our values and general life ethos, we had nothing to worry about. We have such a fantastic team of people around us who are conscious and in feeling to every move that they make. They make our working lives such a joy and we thank them.
And to our customers, we say here’s to another exciting year and thank you again for making the choice to invest your money in our Certified Organic products. You really are making a difference in the world!
For those of you who are interested in some of what we get audited for, here is a quick snapshot:
All production and storage areas are examined by a government-appointed independent auditor and a random product sample selected for testing at an independent laboratory to check there are no herbicides, pesticides or other nasty chemicals present (which wouldn’t be in a genuine organic product). In addition, there are traceability checks on all incoming and outgoing products and the steps in between. All of our suppliers are checked up on as well to ensure they too are following the stringent organic requirements.
Under Section 2.3 of the OFC Code of Practice V9, a HACCP – based Quality system or Organic Management Plan must be in place. This includes;
1. Description of all practices and procedures to be performed and maintained, including the frequency with which they will be performed.
2. A list of each substance to be used as a production or handling input, including those used for cleaning and pest control + a copy of each substance Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and storage information.
3. Description of monitoring practices for each control point, including frequency, and acceptable results.
4. A list of all records kept (e.g. delivery dockets, staff training).
5. A description of all procedures used to prevent contamination and separation of organic and non-organic product. (E.g. how you label product storage areas, different coloured containers for organic from convention ingredients)
6. Procedures to keep records for a minimum of seven years and to be made available on request to the OFC or an auditor conducting an audit on behalf of the OFC.
As you can see it is a big investment of time and energy to follow thorough on this extensive and thorough process – and we wouldn’t have it any other way!