An organic certifier has joined forces with global accreditor Control Union UK to expand markets for organic food by offering certification worldwide.
The move will allow OF&G (Organic Farmers and Growers) to build organic business opportunities in the UK, the EU and across the globe through Control Union UK's (CUUK) international reach.
OF&G, which certifies over half the organic land in the UK, said the collaboration provides an opportunity to deliver organic certification and food safety assurance as 'efficiently and cost-effectively as possible' for UK and EU businesses.
Previously, if a business in outside the UK wanted to certify to organic standards in the UK, the group would fly an inspector out.
“Now, because CUUK have ‘boots on the ground’ in numerous countries, the process becomes much simpler and certifications can be combined,” said Roger Kerr, CEO at OF&G.
“Vice-versa, if our licensees want to become certified with international organic schemes, such as the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) or National Organic Program (NOP), then CUUK can help as they have the accreditations in place, alongside UK or EU regulation,” he added.
Due to Brexit, the level of certification required to export food is increasing. Not only do operators have to deal with EU regulation, they now need to consider UK regulation in a post-Brexit world.
Mr Kerr said: “With more regulation to contend with, not to mention the additional time and expense it incurs at every step in the food supply network, we want to help consolidate this process by certifying to EU and UK regulations simultaneously.”
The recent EU organic regulation (834/2007) put into law by Parliament ahead of Brexit provides some stability for the sector until December 2020.
However, it still doesn't know what UK organic regulation will look like long-term.
OF&G continue to lobby Defra and and the EU Commission to ensure more contingencies are put in place to ensure the wheels of the industry can keep moving.