26 Mar 2021

Digicheck: Improving organic control systems

Within the DIGICHECK project, we will develop suggestions on how to improve the organic control and certification system by integrating digital certification and product transaction data as well as geographic data.

Production processes as well as control and certification have been regulated by the EU Organic Regulation since 1991. In Germany, the Organic Farming Act (ÖLG) implements EU legislation, in particular regulating the approval of inspection bodies. Although the EU organic regulation has been revised several times, several large cases of fraud as well as the reports of the European Court of Auditors have underlined that the further development of the EU Organic Regulation will not sufficiently close the known loopholes for fraud.

The Covid19 pandemic has impressively demonstrated that if on-site inspections are no longer possible, exceptions to the control procedures must be allowed and remote audit techniques be implemented short-term. In essence, the weaknesses are particularly evident in the lack of the mandatory requirement to collect all relevant data that allow linking product transaction from individual fields along the entire product chain.

Within the DIGICHECK project, we from Organic Services will develop recommendations on how to improve the organic control and certification system, in particular through the integration of certification and product transaction data, geographic information systems, and suitable methods of the Internet of Things (IoT). We are very pleased to carry out the project in collaboration with Thünen Institute of Farm Economics, Bohlsener Mühle, KIWA/BCS, Abaco, Assoziation ökologischer Lebensmittelhersteller e.V. (AÖL), Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI), and Intact.

Find more details on the project on the organic eprints website.