About Organic HACCP
Objectives and Expected Achievements
Using consumer concerns as the main criteria of assessment, the objective of the proposed Concerted Action is to provide recommendations to participants on the chain of production, distribution and consumption in regard to improving the safety and quality of certified organic food products. This comprises the following separate achievements:
- To provide a differentiated overview of existing studies regarding consumer concerns - needs, attitudes and responses with regard to food safety and quality - and criteria in regard to the safety and quality of organic foods within the European region, and a conceptual framework regarding the perspectives of future consumer research in this field. (Deliverable D 1).
- To establish a database of existing procedures for current production management and quality assurance related to the chains of production, processing, labelling and distribution of certified organic foods and relevant control points for selected organic food production chains (Wheat bread, fresh cabbage, fresh tomatoes, fresh apples, wine, fresh eggs, fresh pork, fresh milk, plain yoghurt), prepared with data from each of 4-5 European regions, in a manner that will allow for extension with additional commodity groups and updated procedures. (Deliverable D 2).
- To undertake systematic analyses of each selected commodity chain using the procedures developed for Hazard Analysis by Critical Control Points (HACCP), for each of the following 7 aspects of safety and/or quality: Microbial toxins and abiotic contaminants; Nutrient content and food additives; Potential pathogens; Freshness and taste; Natural plant toxicants; Fraud and Social and ethical aspects. Analyses will be undertaken with a view to ensuring relevant and comparable outputs, and taking regional differences into account. (Deliverable D 4.4).
- To assess the adequacy of current procedures for production management and control regarding each identified Critical Control Point, in the light of consumer criteria regarding the safety and quality of these products. This assessment will identify the range of current problems and opportunities in regard to improving the safety and quality of each commodity group. It will yield a series of recommendations to participants on these commodity chains. (Deliverables D 4.5 and D 6.1).
- To formulate and disseminate four types of targeted recommendations to the groups of stakeholders involved (consumers and their oganisations; wholesale and retail distributors, producers; regulating bodies and safety authorities; researchers and research policy makers) in regard to measures that could improve the safety and quality of certified organic foods with specific regard to meeting consumer criteria of assessment. In order to ensure efficient dissemination, representatives of these stakeholders will be involved in the project from the outset, providing feedback on the methodology of the proposed work at all stages. (Deliverables D 5.3, 5.4, D 6.2 and D 6.4).
- To identify all key areas in regard to the quality and safety of foods examined, in which the current state of the art does not yield a basis on which practical recommendations can be grounded due to insufficient data or knowledge at the present time and, accordingly, to formulate recommendations to researchers, research policy makers and other stakeholders regarding issues that should be addressed in future research programmes. These recommendations will target agriculture in general, as well as organic production in particular, using the system of certified organic production as a well defined model for any system that aims at simultaneous improvements of environmental impact, food quality, food safety and economic viability of local production. (Deliverable D 6.3).