This report was drafted by between June 2015 and January 2016 by a Task Force of the European Organic Certifiers Council (EOCC).
On the basis of an analysis of the existing legislative framework (Chapter II), a desk study (Chapter III), a survey (Chapter IV) and exchanges of experiences among the participants (Chapter V), the Task Force Risk Assessment identified common patterns and best practices and made recommendations, which are available in Chapter VI.
Risk-Assessment has been identified as a comprehensive approach, which requires the awareness of all actors involved, and especially operators, control bodies and inspectors, authorities and accreditation bodies. It is based on a systematic and comprehensive risk management by the operators participating in the control system. Attention of control bodies should be paid well beyond inputs (which are the – potential – risks, how to translate them into appropriate criteria, how are they identified and weighted?) to cover also outputs (what does a risk-classification mean for the frequency, nature and intensity of controls and other outputs, what are the appropriate tools to be put in place?). Authorities and accreditation bodies should also participate in this system with a risk-oriented surveillance approach well defined.
EOCC considers this report as a progress report. We would like to take the opportunity of the report’s publication to initiate a debate with all stakeholders involved in the organic production chain. We therefore hope that you will enjoy the reading but, more importantly, that you will come back to us with thoughts on how to improve jointly risk assessment tools and methods.