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Measures against Fraud

Does fraud take place? Do conventional products reach the market labelled as organic? Cases have certainly been uncovered in the past, although they remain quite rare. Careful enforcement of organic standards and requirements for certification can limit even further such occurrences. The following are some of the key measures for uncovering fraud and maintaining confidence in organic products, most of which are contained in the IFOAM Norms:

  • Inspection by an experienced and trained inspector
  • Sampling and analyses of products
  • Rotation of inspectors (i.e. the provision of fresh eyes)
  • Varying the time of year of inspection
  • Performance of surprise or unannounced inspections
  • Risk-based inspection frequency
  • Conducting mass balance or input:output calculations
  • Conducting trace-back or product flow audits
  • Encouragement, and efficient handling, of complaints
  • Market surveillance
  • Detailed certificate checks
  • Cross-check calculations along market chain
  • Specific focus on bulk handled products
  • Risk based inspection of non-certified premises
  • Spot checks of non-certified handlers
  • Collaboration with other certification bodies