What happens after my audit? Am I certified there and then?
Once your closing meeting has been completed with the auditor, the inspection details go through some further steps before final decision. These are as follows:
>The audit report goes to the Inspection Body for initial review On completion of this step, the audit report is forwarded to a Bord Bia Independent Reviewer for analysis, Finally, the audit report, including all review stage data is sent forward to the Bord Bia Certification Committee for certification or other decision. The farmer will receive a communication outlining the determination of the Bord Bia Certification Committee regarding your certification status. This communication may detail any areas for improvement or non-compliances and whether or not you have been successful.
However if non-compliances are identified during the audit, the farmer will have a month to address the issues before the audit file goes through the review process outlined above.
How long am I certified for?
Producers receive an 18 month certification period. The length of certification may be shortened at the discretion of Bord Bia. Bord Bia also conduct a small number of spot audits on scheme members.
Will the auditor be taking pictures of my farm?
Photographic evidence will only be taken with the explicit permission of the farmer in advance, and as a means of sorting problems without the need for another farm visit.
Why do auditors carry out checks in relation to health and safety? Is this not outside their remit?
A good quality assurance scheme will incorporate more than just legal requirements and good farming practices. It will look at other areas that are intrinsically linked to the running of a farm. Management of the environment and pollution control are obvious examples. Health and safety checks also fall into this category as this is an area that can directly impact on the farmer, their family and employees/contractors and can ultimately impact on how a farm is managed.
Are the auditors paid more to fail me?
This is completely untrue. Auditors receive the same fee, regardless of outcome.
What are the residency requirements for cattle?
The residency requirement for cattle to be deemed Quality Assured is that the animal must have spent the last 70 days (unbroken) in the Quality Assured Chain. What this means is that an animal could have spent 30 days on one Quality Assured farm, then moved to another Quality Assured Farm and spent a further 40 days on that farm. The animal is therefore deemed Quality Assured.
What are the residency requirements for sheep?
The residency requirement for sheep to be deemed Quality Assured is that the animal must have spent the last 42 days (unbroken) in the Quality Assured Chain. What this means is that an animal could have spent 30 days on one Quality Assured farm, then moved to another Quality Assured Farm and spent a further 40 days on that farm. The animal is therefore deemed Quality Assured.
How many movements are allowed?
Bord Bia place NO RESTRICTIONS on the number of movements a bovine has had, for it to be deemed Quality Assured. Any movement restrictions applied are solely at the discretion of the Meat Plant and these restrictions may even differ between competing Meat Plants. It is the farmers responsibility to check this prior to taking your cattle to factory.
Why am I having a spot audit, I thought I was certified for 18 months?
The Bord Bia scheme is an internationally accredited scheme and as part of this Bord Bia are required to spot audit a minimum percentage of farms each year. The volume of spot audits conducted on an annual basis runs at less than 1% of all audits conducted.