SOPA contracts all of its certification activities to OF&G Scotland. OF&G Scotland maintain the SOPA scheme and ensure it meets legal compliance with DEFRA and EU.
The audit starts with a visit to the business premises. Business and organic records that must be shown at inspection are extensive, so good record-keeping is particularly important in all organic businesses. We have templates for all the records required; you can download these from our SOPA Member Portal.
Qualified organic auditors carry out a thorough audit of all parts of the business; this can also include any non-organic parts of a business if there is non-organic activity occurring alongside organic activity.
The audit report then needs to be reviewed by the OF&G Scotland Certification staff in the office. Non-compliances are recorded and must be cleared as full adherence to the SOPA Organic Standards is necessary before a valid certificate will be issued.
To ensure that the certification system is functioning correctly, DEFRA contract UKAS to carry out independent annual supervisory inspections of 5% of our membership.
UKAS also inspect the OF&G Scotland systems annually, to ensure that the audit process is correct, consistent and robust.
To ensure adherence to the EU Organic Regulation 834/2007 and 889/2008, OF&G Scotland operates an independent committee comprising industry experts to oversee the certification and audit process. The TAC meets regularly in a 'watchdog' capacity to ensure organic certification meets the legal requirement.
All of these checks ensure that organic food is being inspected properly and has full product integrity to the legal standards.
PO Box Golspie, KW106AA
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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