The certification process

One of SOPA's core aims is to protect and uphold the organic integrity of all products produced by our members and certified by OF&G (Scotland) Ltd.

OF&G (Scotland) Ltd certifies SOPA members to the SOPA organic standards that are based on the EU Regulation 834/2007 and 889/2008.

An inspector will visit each SOPA member annually.

Inspection times start at two hours for the smallest business, and can go up to two days for the largest complex processing audit.

There are two parts to an organic inspection - firstly the operations must be seen so the inspector will wish to see the farm or processing plant in action.  The rest of the inspection will be paper-based where the inspector will go through all the business records and the SOPA Record Sheets to check compliance.  The main business operator should be available for all of the inspection to answer questions.

The inspector then emails the complete report to the OF&G (Scotland) Ltd office.

The report is logged before being reviewed prior to certification.  Outstanding issues must be rectified by the member before the report can be approved by a Certification Officer. 

On approval, an Organic Certificate of Conformity is issued to the SOPA member.