THE NATURLAND APPROACH TO QUALITY
Naturland is committed to upholding the holistic principles of sustainable farming, thus making a significant contribution towards protecting people and the planet. To facilitate our mission, we develop standards for organic production systems and operate a certification scheme for products that have been produced in accordance with these standards. Our independent inspection procedures and consistent application of the Naturland standards enable farmers to create a solid foundation for producing high-quality food in harmony with nature and the environment. This quality standard is certified by the Naturland logo.
The processes used to implement the Naturland standards and certification scheme are constantly being updated to ensure the entire system runs efficiently and reliably. This is accompanied by expert advice for Naturland producers, who have been one of Naturland's core strengths ever since the association was established. To facilitate this, we work with independent consultancies that have been recognised by the association. Öko-BeratungsGesellschaft mbH and Erzeugerring für naturgemäßen Landbau e.V. are our current partners.
NATURLAND QUALITY IN A NUTSHELL
The Naturland approach to quality is explained briefly and clearly in the following video.
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Video below in German language with English subtitles.
INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED STANDARDS
The Naturland quality assurance scheme is managed in accordance with internationally recognised standards. Independent bodies are employed on a yearly basis to verify that the scheme is being implemented and documented effectively. Being recognised as a certification body that operates in line with global standards is becoming ever more important in an increasingly globalised market for organic products.
Naturland is also a member of several organic umbrella organisations such as the German Association of Organic Food Production (Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft – BÖLW) and the global umbrella organisation IFOAM – Organics International. Our active involvement is a further example of our contribution towards driving the organic sector forward and disseminating sustainable production systems worldwide.
What we stand for
OUR INSTRUMENTS FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE
In-depth knowledge of our farms
We examine each new farm to ensure it can meet all the Naturland requirements before initial certification. We also visit farms on a regular basis. We are committed to providing the appropriate level of professional advice to our producers through recognised experts.
We compile our own set of guidelines and continually expand and improve them. We set our requirements above the legal minimums set out by the EU regulation on organic production and include requirements for areas that are not yet covered by the EU regulation, such as social responsibility.
Continuous process improvement
Naturland is actively engaged in continuous dialogue with a wide range of associations and organisations with the aim of standardising and improving its requirements and processes in areas such as animal welfare, transportation, slaughter and traceability.
We specify each process in writing in our Naturland Quality Assurance Manual. We regularly conduct audits to ensure that our internal processes are being implemented and continuously improve them with the help of experts.
It is part of our philosophy to have our own work as a certification organization reviewed annually by an external, independent party in accordance with internationally recognized standards.
Information for farms
We support our farms by providing additional information on how to correctly implement the Naturland requirements. For example, we have a Naturland supplies list, which contains specific products for activities such as fertilisation to ensure that only authorised supplies are used.
Exposure limits and testing
In certain key areas, Naturland stipulates how any potential contamination should be handled and sets exposure limits accordingly. Farms must provide evidence of their compliance with these exposure limits. We also conduct our own tests in suspected cases.
Animal welfare and feed QA
We prioritise areas with a greater need for quality assurance, such as raw materials authorisation for animal and human consumption, animal welfare, transport, slaughter and social responsibility, and ensure they are regulated and implemented using stringent processes.
Special requirements for producer groups
To facilitate the inspection and certification of producer groups, Naturland implements its own stringent requirements with regard to their structure and internal controls.
We handle the entire inspection and certification process from application submissions through to certifications and certificate issuance using ultra-modern software (Intact platform) to ensure full transparency across all our processes at all times.
Cooperation with inspection bodies
Naturland works closely with competent, government-approved inspection bodies worldwide. Our authorised inspection bodies are regularly trained and evaluated for their performance, and coordinate closely with us during inspections.
Risk-orientated additional inspections
Each Naturland farm is inspected at least once a year to ensure all the Naturland guidelines are being implemented on site. In addition to this main inspection once a year, regular, unannounced spot checks and targeted, farm-specific inspections are carried out depending on the perceived risk.
"Bio mit Gesicht" QA project
Our measures for internal and external quality assurance have been in place for years. At the same time, we regularly collaborate on projects that aim to unify, expand and improve our own requirements and processes, as well as those of other associations, which enables us to increase trust in the quality of our work.
The “Bio mit Gesicht” (organic with a face) website, for example, deals with the QA topic of traceability from a consumer perspective and creates trust through accessibility. It is a service developed by Naturland e.V., Naturland Marktgesellschaft, the Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL) and the retailer “tegut...” for consumers of organic products. The website offers customers a reliable traceability system to find out where, how and by whom the organic product they have purchased was grown and processed.
The Bio mit Gesicht service works as follows: Each purchased product has a number. The number can be used to search for the farm on the website. The producer creates a profile on www.bio-mit-gesicht.de describing: Where the farm is located Who works there What standards they adhere to Other interesting facts about the farm The website also provides information on topics such as organic farming, product information and suggested recipes.