Bord Bia set to return to on-farm audits

Farmers can choose between an on-farm or a remote audit
Bord Bia set to return to on-farm audits

Bord Bia will recommence on-farm audits from May 17 next while farmers can choose on farm or remote audits themselves. File Picture.  

Bord Bia on-farm audits are set to recommence on May 17 next in line with new public health measures announced by government.

On-farm audits have been suspended since December 30, 2020.

Members of the Sustainable Assurance Schemes for beef, lamb and dairy will now have the option of an on-farm audit or a remote audit.

Both on-farm and remote audits carry a maximum certification period of 18 months.

Bord Bia, meanwhile, introduced Covid-19 safety training and guidelines for all auditors ahead of a return to audits last August.

To be deemed eligible, auditors need to complete training on safety procedures relating to Covid-19 and complete the Bord Bia Return To Audit Survey.

They must also use the Government Covid Tracker App on the day of each audit to confirm they are not experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms prior to arriving on farms.

Farmers with an upcoming audit will be contacted at least two weeks before their certification is due to expire; they can then decide if they wish to have an on-farm or a remote audit.

“Most farmers have adapted well to remote auditing but we know that an in-person audit is the preferred option for some,” said Deirdre Ryan, Director of Origin Green and Sustainable Quality Assurance at Bord Bia.

“Farmers will have the option of completing either a remote audit or an on-farm audit, whichever they are most comfortable with.

“Safety for members and auditors remains a priority and we advise that public health guidelines with regard to social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, are followed by farmers and auditors during their time on-farm.

“Where possible, remote audits are preferable to minimise risk.” 

Mick Houlihan, Bord Bia’s Sustainable Quality Assurance Manager added: “Bord Bia is grateful for the continued cooperation of farmers and their adaptability to the changing circumstances of the past 14 months.

“Bord Bia’s Helpdesk remains available to assist any farmer who has queries about their certification or an upcoming audit.” 

  • Bord Bia Helpdesk: 01 524 0410, 9am-8pm, Monday to Friday.

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