INSPECTION & CERTIFICATION
Ensuring that Naturland quality standards are maintained on our farms and during product certification is our top priority. To facilitate this, we rely on various quality assurance instruments at all stages of the acceptance process.
Our producers and processors commit to adhering to the Naturland standards at all times. They are regularly inspected (at least once per year) by independent, government-approved, competent, third-party inspection bodies. In addition to these pre-announced inspections, they are also subject to unannounced spot checks based on the perceived risks.
In Germany, Naturland works predominantly with the following prestigious inspection bodies:
Worldwide, we work with over 60 recognised inspection bodies.
Each year, Naturland provides the inspection bodies with the latest inspection documents and specific codes of practice on implementing the inspections in complex areas such as producer groups, animal welfare and Naturland social standards.
The training we provide to all inspection personnel at the inspection bodies ensures that Naturland inspections are executed competently.
Around the world, our farm inspections are carried out by independent, accredited inspection bodies. Our quality assurance department ensures that the inspectors in charge are given the best possible training on a regular basis. This involves detailed communication on the Naturland requirements to be inspected, an introduction to and explanation of the check lists, and an overview of any guideline updates and planned focal points for upcoming annual inspections.
The training is delivered in various formats: classroom seminars, online modules and webinars, individual telephone conversations and mock inspections on-farm. We make a particular effort to provide detailed digital training documents that can be accessed by inspectors anywhere, any time.
After their training as been successfully completed, each inspector receives a training certificate qualifying them to inspect Naturland farms. A new training certificate must be earned at regular intervals to continuously ensure the competency of the inspector. The inspection results are recorded in writing inspection reports that the inspection bodies forward to us.
THE NATURLAND CERTIFICATION COMMITTEE
Our certification committee is responsible for making certification decisions and therefore decides whether a farmer or company is entitled to sell his/her/its products in association with Naturland. In accordance with our charter, it is an independent committee consisting of up to 20 elected members from different areas including science and research, production, processing and consumer protection. This should ensure that a range of professional and social fields are represented in addition to the required expert knowledge on organic farming and processing. It means that all Naturland's key stakeholders are involved in certification decisions.
CERTIFICATION AND RECOGNITION
The certification committee bases its decisions on the results of the inspection report. They carefully assess the inspection reports and evaluate the inspection results. In the event of a guideline violation, sanctions are imposed in accordance with Naturland's catalogue of sanctions. These range from a notice of warning through to logo withdrawal and exclusion from the scheme in the case of serious violations. Our farms receive a new Naturland certificate each year. In general, a farm can be Naturland-certified with or without being a member of Naturland e.V.
Processing companies that process Naturland-certified raw materials and require their suppliers to provide relevant evidence of Naturland quality may also apply to receive confirmation to that effect from us.
SOFTWARE FOR CERTIFICATION BODIES AND PERSONNEL
The entire inspection and certification process from application submissions and inspections through to certifications and certificate issuance is handled using an ultra-modern software platform (Intact platform) to ensure data and information security and full transparency across all our processes at all times.
This enables us to electronically record the entire inspection and certification process transparently and in real time from start to finish. The results of farm and processor inspections are recorded digitally. This enables the duration of the inspection process to be reduced and any necessary measures in the event of a violation to be quickly initiated across all stages. As a result, our quality assurance scheme is more efficient, which is crucial for achieving greater acceptance and assurance at all stages of the certification process.