Audits & Inspections

One of SOPA's core aims is to protect and uphold the organic integrity of all products.

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 us.

OF&G (Scotland) Ltd certify SOPA members to the SOPA standards that are based on the EU Regulation 834/2007 and 889/2008. This remains the case since Brexit, as the UK have implemented legislation that meets the equivalence of the EU Organic Regulations. The SOPA Organic Standards are compliant with the new legislation, so food businesses have the reassurance that certification with SOPA is legally approved and verified.

An auditor will visit each SOPA member annually.

Audit times start at two hours for the smallest business, and can go up to two days for the largest complex processor.

There are two parts to an organic inspection - firstly the operations must be seen so the auditor will wish to see the processing plant in action.  The rest of the audit will be paper-based where the auditor 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 auditor will pay particular attention to

  • Organic Integrity management plan, including organic procedures and record-keeping
  • Product composition, labelling and packaging
  • Storage, processing and transport facilities
  • Existing purchase, despatch, sale and production redords and traceability system
  • Records must include an input/output reconciliation

The auditor then collates the report and emails it to the OF&G Scotland 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, a Certificate of Conformity is issued.

To assist SOPA Members in preparation for audit, all SOPA record sheets and inspection papers are available in digital format and can be downloaded from the Members Portal.


PO Box Golspie, KW106AA
Email: Tel: 0300 772 9795

Scottish Organic Producers Association, Registered Office is c/o Drummond Laurie, Algo Business Centre, Glenearn Rd, Perth, PH2 8BX.
Scottish Organic Producers Association is a Co-operative registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, Registration Number SP02278R. Organic Certification GB-ORG-17