Transparency by our control body:
GfRS, Dr. Jochen Neuendorff
With our certification body, the Gesellschaft für Ressourcenschutz mbH (http://www.gfrs.de), we have found an auditor that follows the motto: "Don't believe it - test it!" This complies with our request for the highest safety controls!
Read the following interview with Dr. Jochen Neunendorff, General Manager of the GfRS.
Do you recall your first contact with organic food?
Of course, it was at the university: Our professors demonstrated to the students that food should be produced with high input. This is an approach which is now outdated. Even at that time, some students were not convinced about it - including me.
What does your company do?
The GfRS audits and certifies organic farms, processing and trading companies. Currently, we audit approximately 2,800 enterprises from the organic agricultural areas. We are an organic control body approved in Germany, Luxemburg and Austria. The interdisciplinary team at GfRS comprises agricultural scientists and experts in food and feed processing. We are all completely convinced about organic food.
How long have you been auditing and certifying organic companies?
We have been working as an organic control body for more than 20 years. Fortunately, the market for organic products continues to grow. This constantly provides new challenges for organic audits as well.
What is the philosophy behind your company?
Our motto is "Don't believe it - test it!" It is important to us that our audits do not simply follow the rules of EU legislation and the requirements of the respective agricultural associations. Within the scope of research and development projects, the GfRS has designed many control instruments that have now been included in legislative requirements. However, we are not standing still: Currently we are coordinating an EU project that deals with the qualification of auditors for organic products from various member states which is aimed at fighting possible fraud. We are also involved in isotope analysis for authenticity control.
At what intervals do you audit a company and how do you do this?
This depends on the risk category of the individual enterprise. Large trading and processing businesses with a case history will be audited several times a year. The same applies to specialist agricultural enterprises. Every company will be audited at least once a year.
How do you verify the quality of the products that you have audited?
We check methods, look at the processes in the company during plant inspections, we review documentation and the financial accounting, we take samples and we make use of audit tracer notes.
When was the first contact with KRÖNER-STÄRKE made?
It was in 2001, if I recall this correctly. KRÖNER-STÄRKE approached us because they wanted to additionally assure the organic quality of the raw materials purchased. This was great. We welcome every customer that is committed to organic quality.
How do you see the future of organic farming and the organic food trade?
Consumers place great confidence in organic food. I firmly believe that the market for organic products is still on the increase.
How do you assess the organic food market today and in the future?
The market for organic products will continue to grow. It will be important that the producers are paid a fair price in order to enable proper organic farming activities and that the processors will get a fair margin to enable them to achieve the high quality.