When a product’s packaging states that the product is organic, it means that the product meets stringent organic regulations. After all, using the term ‘organic’ is protected by law. Nearly each country has their own national organic trademark or logo, but a European one exists as well, the recognisable green leaf logo. When a product has the green leaf organic logo, consumers can be assured that the product has genuinely been certified as organic.
Different countries, different customs
Do all countries have the same regulations when it comes to organic certification? Unfortunately not, the local regulations vary and there are countries that recognize several different certifications. However, the pan European regulation (for the green leaf logo) is the same for each country. This means that a product could have several different logos on it, the European one, plus one or more local country organic logos.
Although a lot of trust is placed on organic producers, a system of inspections is still carried out. Each country has one or more accredited companies or agencies who audit and inspect each organic producer at least once a year. For the most part these inspections are announced in advance, although unannounced inspections occur as well.
In order to be able to carry out inspections properly, the entire organic chain needs to be transparent. For example, most organic dog and cat food contains chicken. The farmer that supply’s this chicken must be able to show an inspector that his chickens are being fed with only organic grain. Then, one step further, the farmer supplying the organic grain must be able to prove that his grain isn’t being sprayed with harmful pesticides and hasn’t been genetically modified.
Yarrah quality control
Even though the inspections carried out by the various national bodies are exceedingly comprehensive and reliable, Yarrah’s quality assurance manager still wants to make sure that our suppliers are working within our own standards and values. There are cases where the national regulations in terms of animal welfare don’t match with our own standards. This means that a supplier is meeting all the national organic regulations, but if an animal does not have access to certain amount of time outdoors, or the freedom of movement we expect, then we will not source anything from this supplier and find ones who do treat their animals better.
Our quality assurance manager visits the farms of our meat suppliers each and every year. He checks the living conditions of the animals, the origin of the food they are given, the use of any medication and of course, ultimately, how the slaughter process is organised. This is part of the whole chain, and he ensures that this is carried out in a humane and stress-free way as possible. All certificates are scrutinized, checked, and where necessary additional questions are posed all to ensure our standards are being fully met.
The rest of our suppliers, for example for organic seaweed, grain/cereals or herbs, are visited and audited every two years.
All Yarrah products meet Dutch, German, French and European organic regulations. This actually means that each organic ingredient we use is being inspected and approved several times. Not just by all the local accredited companies or agencies, but also by Yarrah itself.