On-line session on the new organic EU-Regulation

On November 19 and 20 representatives of four organic certification bodies and one accreditation body of the Balkan Region participated in a two day online event.

This event replaced the planned meeting in Belgrade which had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. Originally, this event was planned to be the closing event of a series of web-based-trainings about different aspects of the new organic regulation.

This time, the 13 participants discussed the requirements for their future control and certification systems. External PTB experts in organic production and control systems, Jochen Neuendorff and Tom Nizet (both on behalf of GfRS, www.sicher.bio) hosted the event and guided the participants in a practical way through the requirements.

During the web-based workshop, time was dedicated to understand the situation in the Balkan Region in the context of COVID-19. Earlier this year, the same participants discussed how to continue verifying operators and products via remote audits. The rest of the first day was dedicated to discussing the conditions to become an officially recognised certification body authorised by the EU Commission. Even if some of the participants are already recognised by the EU Commission today, from 01.01.2022 there will be a new system with its own particularities.

The second day, all aspects of the future control and certification systems were discussed. Thanks to the rich exchange among participants, lots of questions could already be answered. At the end of the day, a short list of topics which need further attention was drawn up. These participants are motivated to succeed in obtaining their recognition and will enter a new phase from the beginning of 2021.

All participants were happy about the outcome and agreed to continue even if current working conditions for control and certification are not ideal at present.