Internal Control Systems (ICS)


Internal Control Systems (ICS)

Around 80 percent of organic producers worldwide are smallholders. However, smallholders, who often live in remote areas, cannot afford the cost of certification or manage the administrative requirements by themselves. As such, the implementation of a group certification scheme offers a practical and cost-effective means to ensure compliance with organic standards.

Consequently, Naturland has been working on a concept to enable the implementation of a functional and well-organised Internal Control System (ICS) as an important tool to reduce the annual costs of external inspection. Naturland has published one of the first handbooks for the implementation of ICS in smallholder organisations.

In 2020, Naturland completely revised the Manual for Quality Assurance, taking into account new government regulations and international standards. The Manual now includes all provisions of the current Organic Regulation EC No 834/2007 and has been restructured, simplified and re-illustrated. Moreover, the Naturland Social Standards (not previously mentioned in the manual) were also included. Further revisions regarding new provisions in the forthcoming EU Organic Regulation 2018/848 will be published as soon as they are finalised by the EU.

New challenges for group certification

In 2018, the EU adopted a new organic regulation introducing new regulatory requirements for group certification with ICS.

Naturland has published an information sheet introducing the main changes for smallholder producer groups under the new EU Organic Regulation 2018/848 and Reg (EU) 2021/279. The new requirements and possible changes to ICS structure and management are illustrated with various examples.

On February 2022 the Naturland Academy online seminar 'Changes for Group Certification with Internal Control Systems according to the New Organic EU Regulation 2018/848' with active participation took place. A summary including a Q&A section of the event can be downloaded below.