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It’s getting better – in Denmark

Time:2013-3-28 Hits:4902

Animal welfare continues to pose the largest problem for organic operators in Denmark.

Of the five most common nonconformities, four of them were about animals of which three – housing conditions, resting areas and outdoor conditions – were about animal welfare issues, and the fourth about the records kept for animals. The fifth issue was deficiencies in the recordkeeping.

This should be seen against the backdrop that many Danish operations don’t even have animals.

The total number of recorded non-conformities was 462 in 2011, a small reduction compared to the 487 in 2010. Of the 2,700 inspected operations, 266 had one or more nonconformities, i.e. around 10%.

In most of the cases the responsible authority, NaturErhvervstyrelsen (the Danish AgriFish Agency), issued a warning to the producers; in total 220 such warnings were issued. In one case the certificate was totally revoked. In 43 cases, the operator got a penalty of between 1,000 and 5,000 Danish Krona (130 to 670). Four cases were handed over to the police for further investigations and legal action.

For many years the Danish governmental control system has published the results of their inspections as well as their sanctions. In order to reduce the number of non-conformities in future it will pay greater attention to the information given to operators, cooperate with the sector organizations and give greater attention to problem areas.

In the longer perspective, it seems as if Danish farmers are adhering more to the standards now than earlier, or that inspections have become less rigorous. Of 3,536 organic farms inspected in 2001, 524 were noted for some non-conformity with a total of 1,108 non-conformities (i.e. those that had one or more non-conformity).

In 2001, most violations were about deficient records, followed by animal welfare issues. In 1999 Denmark reported that 26% of the farmers violated the standards, so the long-term trend is certainly positive.


                                                                                                               (Source:TOS 143 March 2013)

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