Consumers are becoming more careful about what they buy, learning to read labels, inquiring about production and origin of products. Their buying decision process is changing since it is based more on quality than on the outward appearance and advertising of the products, like certain marketing strategies have imposed till now.
Precisely for this reason, as opposed to the logic of big distribution, we aim to inform and educate our customers about the product that we treat the most, the truffle.
On this line Villa Magna Farm decided to initiate the procedure for organic certification since its foundation, obtaining, after a period of conversion, the first authorization in 2001. Actually, our certified products are: fresh truffles, olives for oil production, chestnuts, forage and legumes. The cadastral units that are subject to organic control are located in the Tiber Valley, in the Casentino and in the Arezzo area, for a total of 30 hectares.
Organic farming is defined as a global system of agricultural production that favours the rational management of internal resources to safeguard agroecosystem.
Organic farming is a production method that aims to:
- Maintain soil fertility in the long term, recycling waste of plant and animal origin (organic fertilizers) to return nutrients to the land
- Increase the organic diversity
- Cultivate without the use of synthetic chemicals and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)
- Limit the pollution of the agroecosystem and water resources
- Maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the product in the processing of the primary product
The control in the organic sector has the objective of verifying corporate compliance with the requirements of the reference standards and aims to repress any illicit behaviour. The subjects involved in the certification process are: the company, which owns the requirements and compliance with the regulations, and the entity that controls the corporate compliance requirements.
The certifying agency is Suolo e Salute s.r.l., which has become an inspection and certification body for the food and the environment in 2000, but working in the industry as Suolo e Salute Association since 1969 and the first promoter of the organic – mineral method, at the base of organic farming.
The procedure to obtain organic certification is quite long and complex:
- At first, you have to send the request by sending a “Notification of production with Organic Method”, together with:
- Annual Production Plan
- Documentation probative surfaces and cadastral data declared
- Plans relating to areas declared
- Plans relating to real estate declared
- The articles of association and the articles of incorporation, or company’s certificate issued by the Chamber of Commerce in the case of corporate structures
- The request is examined by the Regional Department that controls the documentation. In case of incompleteness, intergation is required or a inspection for start-up can be carried out in order to verify the operational, structural and management company aspects.
The report shall be sent to the Technical Department which examines and submits the response to the Certification Committee, which will review the case and issue a pronouncement. If positive, the company enters in the register of controlled operators and receives the certificate of suitability for the control of Suolo e Salute.
- At this point must be kept updated the following documents:
- Sheets of raw materials
- Sheets of farming operations
- Records of sale
- Analyzes are carried out by external laboratories.
The Technical Department prepares a sampling plan made by organization staff. Withdrawals shall cover at least 10% of the controlled.
- The inspections are performed according to an appropriate inspection plan:
- During start-up time: within 30 days you have the first inspection, which occurs the correspondence between the documents provided and the operational reality, to analyze in addition the surrounding ecosystem and the accidental risk factors
- At regime: the Regional Department prepares the inspection plan, which must be approved by Technical Department, specifically for the type of product, during the most risk periods. The checks should be performed at least once a year up to a maximum of 300, without receiving any notice
- Operational steps: documents are verified with operational reality, then is taken direct vision of plants, facilities, warehouses, finally are analyzed the business documents. From the collected data is drawn up the inspection report
- Release of logo and certification: found fit to controls, the company receives a Certificate of Eligibility, with whom you can ask for a Product Certificate, which will accompany the good, the authorization to print labels and use the logo.
- Certificates: are issued the following certificates:
- Certificate of Eligibility: admission to the control
- Certificate of Conformity: certifies the company compliance
- Certificate of Qualification: shows the status of the control and it is of two types, conversion and organic
- In case of infringements will be billed at:
- Blanking out the organic method
- Withdrawal of certification
Once the certification is obtained the company can, always in respect of regulations, release product organic certificates to traders who need them.
For more information about the availability of organic truffles and other products, as well as on procedures for the issue of certificates, please CONTACT US.