Control & certification of organic products


Process of Control and Certification of Organic Products

The modern consumer wants to be more informed and to know about food production methods at all stages of the agro-food chain. Especially for organic products, the appropriate legislative framework has been established that applies not only to the primary (plant, animal production, beekeeping and aquaculture units) but also to the secondary sector (processing, standardization, distribution units of agricultural products), so as to ensure compliance with the commitments of the legislation governing the organic production of products, their processing, labeling and marketing.
Therefore, after the control process, farm owners who produce, standardize, process or market organic products may apply. The reason for this is that they can obtain official recognition/certification that they have complied with the laws governing the products that govern them.
Consequently, organic products become more credible to consumers. They become more recognizable in the marketplace. This makes things more transparent at every stage of the production process.

In order to determine whether the requirements of the applicable National and Community Legislation are met, the Control and Certification Organizations (BIOHELLAS) conduct control, evaluation and certification of the processes of production, manufacturing, and import of organic farming products. Audit and certificate work by these organizations must meet the requirements of the law, which, among other things, requires accreditation by the National Accreditation Council (ESYD) in accordance with the ELOT EN ISO 17065 standard, as well as approval by the Ministry of Rural Development & Food.

A summary of the stages is provided, starting with the integration of the unit concerned (primary sector or secondary sector) into the control system until the final product is made available to the consumer.

Application – Joining the Certification System
The person interested in joining the Certification System of BIOHELLAS producer/entrepreneur, submit an application which is accompanied by the necessary forms for its inclusion required depending on the nature of the unit. In addition, when the unit is included in the control and certification system, the producer/entrepreneur submits a complete description of the unit including all those measures and commitments that should be taken at the farm level, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of Reg. EU. 2018/848. After the application has been evaluated, the unit manager signs a contract with BIOHELLAS Certification Organization and plans the inspection of the unit.

The inspections carried out as part of the control and certification of organic farming/livestock products are divided into:

a. Annual inspection
The annual inspection is carried out at least once a year in 100% of the integrated units of the Control and Certification Organization. It is conducted for the first time within 12 months of the company’s incorporation. The annual inspection covers all stages of the production process (production, transportation, storage, processing-standardization – packaging, labeling, etc.).

Among the specific items included in the annual inspection are:

  1. On-site inspection of plots of land, pastures, stable facilities, processing facilities – product processing.
  2. On-site inspection in the storage areas of the unit (storage areas for agricultural/veterinary supplies, storage areas for raw materials and finished products, etc.).
  3. Detailed control of the files (input/sales file, balanced input-output, calendar of cultivation operations or production, purchase/sales documents, traceability system control, etc.) that the person in charge of the unit is required to keep, in accordance with the provisions of Ranonymization (EU) 2018/848.

b. Supplementary inspection
As part of the supplementary inspection, at least 10% of the integrated units of the Control and Certification Organization are inspected annually. This inspection focuses on units that had irregularities and/or violations in the previous year. Unlike other types of inspections, extraordinary inspections can be conducted without the producer or entrepreneur being notified in advance.

c. Surprise Inspection
The above inspections (annual or supplementary) may be carried out without prior notification of the responsible producer/entrepreneur. Unannounced inspections are carried out on an annual basis in at least 20% of all inspections.

It is the producer/entrepreneur’s responsibility to provide access to all areas of the unit and all records required by Regulation (EU) 2018/848, regardless of the type of inspection. Inspections are carried out by one or more inspectors depending on the scope of activity and the size of the company to be inspected. The inspectors are necessarily specialized scientists (agriculturists, food technologists, veterinarians) in order to have the required knowledge, expertise and experience with regard to the production system, the applicable legislation and inspection requirements. The Certification Body has an obligation to ensure the impartiality and objectivity of its inspectors.


As part of the annual and/or inspection process, the Control and Certification Organization inspectors may collect samples to analyze and detect substances not permitted under Regulation (EU) 2018/848. BIOHELLAS takes samples for laboratory analysis at a rate of at least 5% of the integrated units based on risk analysis. Laboratory tests are carried out in accredited laboratories (according to the ELOT EN ISO / IEC 17025 standard) at all stages of the production process (from the field to the shop windows).

Grant Certification

As part of the certification process, a company must produce, manufacture, pack, label, dispose of, export or import organic farming products from third countries in accordance with the requirements and provisions of Even. EU. 2018/848 as well as the relevant national legislation. Upon compliance with the Regulations, the company is certified based on the processes it has implemented. In case of non-compliance with the commitments of the current National and Community legislation governing the production and marketing of organic products, sanctions are foreseen which, among other things, include the non-granting or revocation of the certification, which automatically removes the right to label the product as organic or refer to the organic method of production, as well as other stronger penalties in cases of more serious violations. Organic Agriculture Product Certification System requirements must be continuously met to maintain certification.

Product Marking and Disposition

Regulation (EU) 2018/848 requires that only certified organic products carry a special label indicating their organic production method. More detailed information about the labeling of organic products can be found here.

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