Checking the requirements
How is compliance with the requirements checked?
The inspections are carried out by the government or by independant certification bodies (CB). The CB issue a certificate that confirms that the requirements of the sector guide or commercial standards concerned are respected. The inspections are carried out based on checklists that provide a concise version of the contents of the standards.
For the government and buyers, certification means simplification of the checks and it also guarantees that the products delivered meet the standards.
To guarantee better quality in the crop and livestock chains, it is important that the certification be easy and accessible for the farmer and as a result easy, feasible, affordable and verifiable. That is why in general an inspection is only carried out once every three years. Some standards require an annual inspection (e.g. Belplume in the poultry sector).
As far as the Vegaplan/Codiplan certification is concerned, 11 independent certification bodies are authorised to carry out the inspections. In cooperation with the government, Vegaplan has developed an integrity programme to guarantee the quality of the inspections carried out by the CBs.
For business to consumer systems, the certified product can be made recognisable for consumers by means of a label (e.g. Belbeef). There are also certification systems that are not promoted amongst consumers, since they are used by producers and their buyers. These are the business-to-business systems which include the Vegaplan and Codiplan systems.