Final result overview


 
Recommendations   Economic analysis

Get the CERTCOST project's recommendations on how to improve the organic certification system. Get also the synthesis report on the economic analysis of certification systems in organic food and farming.

Newsletters

Get the CERTCOST digital newsletters below.

       
 No. 1, 2010       No. 2, 2011


Welcome to CERTCOST

What is CERTCOST?
CERTCOST is a European research project supported by the European Commission. This project ran for three years, from September 2008 to August 2011 and is now finalized.

Read more about the CERTCOST project...

The project has been coordinated by Professor Stephan Dabbert at the University Hohenheim

E-mail: certcost@uni-hohenheim.de


This project is supported by the European Commission under the SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME, Collaborative project, Small or medium-scale focused research project.

The contents of these pages are the sole responsibility of the publishers. These pages in no way represent the views of the Commission or its service.

Public project results


The CERTCOST partners have published 11 public reports and a database :
  1. The potential of alternative certification systems (D21a, 2012)
    Report on total costs of three organic certification systems in six Europoean countries (D21b, 2012)
    Two exploratory case studies of alternative certification in the UK (D21c, 2012)
  2. Modelling of certification systems. Report on economic modelling results and actions to increase efficeincy and cost-effectiveness of inspectoin procedures (D20, 2012)
  3. Economic analysis of ­certification systems in organic food and farming, synthesis report of results (D23, 2012)
  4. Improving the organic certification system. Recommendations for Improving the Organic Certification System (D24, 2011)
  5. Report on evaluation of the revision of Reg. EEC 2092/91, import regime in two exporting non-EU countries (TR, CH) and on an international level (D19, 2011)
  6. The European regulatory framework and its implementation in influencing organic inspection and certification systems in the EU (D11, 2010)
  7. Economic Concepts of Organic Certification (D5, 2009)
  8. Organic certification in selected European countries. Control fees and size of the sector (D8, 2009)
  9. Consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay for organic certificatoin logos. Recommendations for actors in the organic sector (D17, 2011)
  10. Database on certification actors in 19 EU and associated countries (2009)
  11. Stakeholders' views on improving the organic certification system. Results from an EU level workshop. Nov. 13th-15th in Izmir, Turkey 2008 (D2, 2009)
  12. Modelling of certification systems. Report on economic modelling results and actions to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness of inspection procedures (2012)

News

09 February 2012 Final recommendations


Read the final recommendations from the CERTCOST project in the public report.


07 February 2012 New report on modelling of certification systems
A new report on modelling of certification systems has been publisized by the CERTCOST project. The report presents findings of an analysis of the risk of non-compliance and sanctions in the organic certification system in europe and it has the subtitle "Economic modelling results and actions to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness of inspection procedures "

Non-compliance risk factors and explanatory modelling were analysed referring to case studies in six european countries and a case study in turkey. It is based on the empirical results and theoretical evaluations, and it gives recommendations for both actors and stakeholders in the organic sector.

Get the public report

07 February 2012 New report on total costs of organic certification
A new report is published by the CERTCOST project. It is the resul of research into the total costs of three organic certification systems in seven European countries with particular focus on five organic supply chains and the potential of alternative certification systems.

the report is divided into three different public reports:

  1. The potential of alternative certification systems
  2. Report on total costs of three organic certification systems in six Europoean countries
  3. Two exploratory case studies of alternative certification in the UK

24 January 2012 6 recommendations on how to improve the organic certification system
A well-functioning certification system is necessary for a well-functioning organic market. Therefore, the goal of the organic certification system is to gain consumer trust in the organic integrity of the product she or he buys.

In a new report, the CERTCOST project gives six recommedations on how to improve the certification system. This report sums up the recommendations of the CERTCOST project and briefly describes the research process leading to these recommendations.

Get the report (D24)

24 January 2012 Synthesis: Economic analysis of ­certification systems in ­organic food and farming
In a new report, the CERTCOST project provides an overview on what is known about the organic certification sector in Europe seen from an economic viewpoint. The report presents selected important results of the work which we think are of interest to a diversity of stakeholders connected with the organic certification system. Get the report (D23)

03 January 2012 BioFach panel discussion: Improving the organic certification system
On occasion of the Organic World Fair, BioFach 2012 in Nuremberg, the CERTCOST project coordinator, Prof. Stephan Dabbert, will present the final recommendations based on an economic analysis of organic certification systems

Then there will be room for en open panel discussion including the audience. The presentation will take place on Friday 17. February 2012, 10.00-11.00 in the Prague Room.


14 December 2011 How to improve the organic certification system


Final recommendations from CERTCOST
The CERTCOST project's Recommendations for Improving the Organic Certification System are presented in a new public report. It attempts to answer the question "how to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of organic certification?" by giving recommendations for organic operators, control bodies/control authorities, competent authorities and other member state authorities, accreditation bodies, the European Commission, and other stakeholders.

This report is based on the project results, reports and deliverables of the CERTCOST project. Valuable input has been provided by all project participants and by many stakeholders from the organic certification sector during the course of the project.

Get the report on Recommendations for Imroving the Organic Certification System


[Photos are from the final Brussels workshop in October 2011]

22 November 2011 New report evaluates the revision of council regulation
Organic imports from third countries represent an important part of organic products consumed in most EU Member States. In Denmark for example, in 2008, almost 10 percent of the organic products were imported from third countries representing a value of 16.6 Mio Euro. In the EU-15, the number of EU operators certified as importers of organic products from third countries has increased from 1,300 in 2002 to 2,340 in 2007, which corresponds to an annual growth rate of more than 12 percent.

This report provides a first evaluation of the new import regulation for organic products. The objectives of this evaluation are to provide an in-depth understanding of the strengths and weaknesses as well as the cost implications of the new import regulation for organic products. Furthermore, the report aims at formulating scientifically based policy recommendations for the EU Commission, national competent authorities and private actors from the organic sector.

Get the report Evaluation of the revision of council regulation (eec) no 2092/91, import regime in two exporting non-eu countries (tr, ch) and on an international level.

23 August 2011 CERTCOST News No. 2 is released
Get the latest newsletter at the project website: www.certcost.org [pdf, 1 MB]

Selected newsletter contents:
- A few words from the coordinator
- Workshop in Brussels: Improving the organic certification system
- In brief: Main findings and outcomes of the CERTCOST project
- Two new public CERTCOST reports:
- Those who have cheated will cheat again
- A stakeholder's view on the CERTCOST session at BioFach 2011

15 August 2011 Workshop: Improving the organic certification system


The CERTCOST project would held a workshop on how to improve the organic certification system.

The workshop presented the results and recommendations from the EU FP7 project "Economic Analysis of Certification Systems in Organic Food and Farming" (CERTCOST).

Get the presentations from the workshop here:
  • Improving the Organic Certification System
  • Overview of the Certification Sector
  • Costs of Certification
  • Organic Certification from the Consumer Perspective
  • Risk Based Inspections in organic farming
  • Recommendations

  • Workshop objectives
    - to present and discuss the results and synthesis of the CERTCOST project, and - to critically discuss the project recommendations with stakeholders before they are finalized.

    Read the Full Invitation. Time and place of the workshop was: Venue: Vertretung des Landes Baden-Württemberg bei der Europäischen Union
    Rue Belliard 60 - 62, 1040 Bruxelles
    Date: Friday, 14. October 2011, 9:15 a.m. - 13:15.


    04 August 2011 Final project meeting well accomplished
    The sixth and final CERTCOST project meeting was held in Freising, Germany, under the auspices of the (University of Hohenheim ).



    During the project meeting, the partners presented and debated the final research results from all work packages, and especially Work Package 5 on final recommendations was thorroughtly discussed. This covers the concluding work of giving final recommendations and synthesizing the whole project.

    19 May 2011 New public report on Consumer Preferences and Willingness-to-Pay for Organic Certification Logos
    Recommendations for actors in the organic sector:
    A market inventory shows that the 3 most frequent kinds of organic certification logos occurring on pro­ducts across the study countries are 1. national governmental logos, 2. logos of farmers’ associations and 3. their umbrella organisations, and logos of certification bodies. This is evident in a new public report from the CERTCOST project, which in effect gives a number of recommendations for different actors in the organic sector on the use and promotion of organic certification logos.

    To increase consumer trust in the new mandatory EU logo, it is recommended that promotion campaigns should be carried out explaining what the logo indicates.

    Read the report.

    15 March 2011 New public report on public prices and size of the certification sector


    New public report on publicly available prices and the size of the organic sector in the participating countries.

    This report surveys the organic certification sector in selected European countries as regards transparency in relation to public availability of fees for inspection and certification of organic operators. Additionally, the report estimates the size of the organic certification sector in the EU in staff full time years and staff costs.

    The study is based on the www.organicrules.org database developed in the CERTCOST project and a detailed questionnaire study carried out in 5 EU countries (Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) an associated country (Switzerland) and an EU candidate country (Turkey).

    Get the public report

    02 March 2011 CERTCOST presentations at BioFach 2011
    CERTCOST partners presented the project at an open stakeholder workshop at the BioFach Organic world Fair, 16-19 February 2011, Nuremberg, Germany. At the event, there was a specific CERTCOST session where the partners presented recent research results:

    CERTCOST has compared the organic certification system with other systems, both organic and others to see if there are valuable elements in those other systems that could be used to strengthen the current system. Florentine Meinhausen from IMO, Switzerland, identified three components that could be useful: Risk-based inspections, capacity building and social networking approaches. On all levels, from operators to competent authorities, there is a lack of capacity. There is also no consistent training. For instance, there is no European or even international approaches.

    1. Promising elements in alternative systems
    Speaker: Florentine Meinshausen

    Raffaele Zanoli from Universitá Politecnica delle Marche in Italy presented on his research into risk-based certification; where certification bodies collect lots of information about the farm, but very little about the farmer. He argued that a financial institution wanting to assess risk would be very curious about the farmer. Thus he posed the question, why the certification body that is undertaking a similar exercise would not display the same level of cusiosity. Zanoli also explained that the CERTCOST project has formulated 46 hypothetical risk factors that are to be tested. Factors to be included are general, structural, manegerial, control related and production specific factors.

    2. Can certification encourage organic operators to become better organic operators?
    Speakers: Susanne Padel, Raffaele Zanoli,

    Meike Janssen from the University of Kassel, Germany, presented consumer choice experiments to map their preferences and willingness to pay for products labelled with the EU logo and other organic logos. Based on these choice experiments she gave a set of recommendations for the actors in the organic sector, for instance the project resommends EU authorities to fund campaigns targeted at consumers to raise their awareness of the new EU logo.

    3. The EU logo and other organic logos from the consumer perspective.
    Speakers: Meike Janssen, Ulrich Hamm.

    16 December 2010 CERTCOST newsletter released
    The first issue of the newsletter for CERTCOST, CERTCOST news, is released.
    Get CERTCOST news [pdf, 1.3 MB]

    Selected contents in the newsletter:
  • New database on European actors in organic standards setting and certification
  • Three public CERTCOST reports:
  • 1. The opening Stakeholder workshop in Izmir
  • 2. Economic theory applied on organic food products
  • 3. European legislation: The background of organic certification
  • Short introduction to European Food Law
  • Upcoming events
  • The EU Organic Campaign
  • The (new) organic EU logo.

  • 16 December 2010 EU regulation workshop for organic farming
    The EC organises a workshop at BioFach 2011 on Thursday 17.2.2011 in Nuremberg. The programme is as follows:

    15.00-16.00 Update on the EU organic regulation and the logo (Maria Fladl)
    16.00-17.00 The control system and the expert panel for technical advice (Stefano Cinti)
    17.00-18.00 Exporting organic products to the EU - state of play (Caroline Pottier)

    Jean-François Hulot, the head of the organic farming unit at DG AGRI (EC) will make a short introduction to each session. Each speaker is a member of the organic farming unit in Brussels. Powerpoint presentations will be followed by a questions and answers session.

    Visit the BioFach website.

    07 December 2010 Fifth project meeting well accomplished

    The fifth CERTCOST project meeting was held in Basel, Switzerland, under the auspices of the Hotel Bildungszentrum 21 and organized by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).



    During the project meeting, the partners presented research results progress and progress from all work packages except WP% on final recommendations, which covers the concluding and work of giving final recommendations and synthesizing the whole project in 2011.

    As usual, The CERTCOST project coordinator, Stephan Dabbert, did a great job to ensure an effective yet positive meeting spirit.


    26 November 2010 Invitation to workshop: The revised EU Import Regime and practical approaches to prevent fraud
    We kindly invite stakeholders for the joint CERTCOST - AFI Workshop in Brussels, February 2011. The workshop is entitled
    "The revised EU Import Regime and practical approaches to prevent fraud" The EU is currently implementing the revised rules on the import regime. Beginning of 2011 the first list of certification bodies approved for their operations in Third Countries is expected to be published - this will be a major step for implementation of the new import regime and a good moment to evaluate the new system with the stakeholders.

    Get the detailed agenda. You can also visit the AFI websites (www.organic-integrity.org)

    Time and place:
    24./25.01.2011 in Brussels, University Foundation

    Read the invitation to Stakeholders.

    23 November 2010 Open stakeholder workshop at BioFach
    At the BioFach Organic World Fair in Nuremberg, the CERTCOST partners will present results from WP1-WP4 in the open stakeholder workshop "CERTCOST session" on Thursday 17 February 2011 10.00-11.30 in the Riga Room. The session is chaired by Stephan Dabbert from University of Hohenheim:

    • 10.00-11.00 "How to improve the certification system? Risk-based inspection and beyond."
      Speakers: Raffaele Zanoli, Susanne Padel, Elisabeth Rüegg.
    • 11.00-11.30 The EU logo and other organic logos from the consumer perspective.
      Speakers: Maike Janssen, Uli Hamm. Chair: Stephan Dabbert.

    Read more at the BioFach website...

    15 October 2010 New public database on certification actors in the EU


    A new database on on actors involved in certification in 19 EU and associated countries has been finalized.

    The database is publicly available at Organic Rules.

    10 August 2010 Stakeholder workshop presentations from BioFach 2010
    At the BioFach Organic World Fair in Nuremberg, the CERTCOST partners presented results from WP1-WP4 in the a workshop entitled "Results of the EU project CERTCOST" on Friday, 19 February 2010 in a 2,5 hour long session chaired by P2. Read more and get the presentations...

    23 June 2010 Sad farewell to Dr. Rainer Bächi
    Dr. Rainer Bächi, founder and director of the Institute for Marketecology (IMO), a CERTCOST partner institution, died on June 10 in a car accident. Rainer Bächi was a charismatic pioneer in organic certification and an inspiring person to work with. We are grateful for his contribution and we feel sympathy with his family, his friends and his colleagues at IMO.

    More about his life can be learned at the IMO website.


    28 May 2010 Fourth project meeting well accomplished

    The fourth CERTCOST project meeting was held in Prague, Czech Republic, under the auspices of the Hotel Diplomat and organized by Czech University of Life Sciences, CULS.



    During the project meeting, the partners presented progress and the schedule also made room for important discussions of research results.

    As usual, The CERTCOST project coordinator, Stephan Dabbert, did a great job to ensure an effective yet positive meeting spirit.

    The Prague Castle and surroundings made a very pleasant stage for the CERTCOST meeting.

    The 4th project meeting of CERTCOST took place on 5-7 May 2010 and was well organised by the Czech project partners from CULS in Prague.



    29 April 2010 CERTCOST is represented at the 4th European Organic Congress






    Several CERTCOST partners are represented at the 4th European Organic Congress in Rome (June 21-22, 2010).

    Stephan Dabbert from the University of Hohenheim, Raffaele Zanoli, Univ. Ancona, and Beate Huber from FiBL presents preliminary findings and research results from the CERTCOST project. Also Antonio Compagnoni from ICEA moderates a scientific session, while Lizzie M. Jespersen from ICROFS reports from one of the sessions.

    The initiative is undertaken by the IFOAM EU Group in conjunction with Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (IAMB) in the frame of the InterBio project. The congress is co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and DG Environment of the European Commission. It is an opportunity for the organic sector to evaluate and discuss the changing legislative framework for organic farming in Europe.
    Read the conference programme...

    26 April 2010 Get the presentations from BioFach workshop
    At a BioFach workshop in February 2010, selected CERTCOST partners presented and discussed fresh results of the EU project. You can get the four presentations by clicking below:

    1. Database on European actors involved in organic standards setting and certification
    2. A first qualitative insight into administrative costs of organic certification systems
    3. Consumer attitudes towards the new EU labelling and the existing organic logos
    4. Supervision of the organic control system in Europe


    10 February 2010 New organic EU logo on the shelves from July 1st.





















    Almost 130,000 people have voted online to choose the new organic symbol from three finalists. The winning logo depicts a light green leaf drawn by a number of EU stars. This new organic logo is going to label all organic products produced in the EU.

    Read more about logos and labelling at ec.europa.eu.

    30 November 2009 CERTCOST workshop at BioFach
    At the the World Organic Trade Fair BioFach, the CERTCOST partners will present the CERTCOST project

    Read more about the workshop here...

    Presentation of findings from the project
    At the BioFach fair workshop in Nuremberg, the project partners will present findings from the project about
    1. administrative costs of organic certification systems across Europe,
    2. consumer attitudes towards the new EU labelling and the existing organic logos,
    3. supervision of the organic control system in Europe,
    4. database on European actors involved in organic standards setting and certification
    All interested people are welcomed to participate in the discussion about the issues given below.

    Event details and further information
    BioFach Fair, Nuremberg, Friday, February 19, 2010, 14.00-16.30, in the Hongkong Room E. For further information please contact Michal Lostak from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, who is the member of CERTCOST team.

    10 November 2009 Third project meeting in Izmir well accomplished

    The third CERTCOST project meeting was held in Izmir Denmark, under the auspices of the Swissôtel and organized by EGE University.



    During the project meeting, the partners presented progress and discussed research results. A considerable amount of planning was also on the agenda, and an effective, slightly revised plan for the next vital parts of the project is now in place.

    The CERTCOST project coordinator, Stephan Dabbert, did a great and insisting job to ensure an effective and positive meeting spirit, and not least to secure a sound future path of the project.

    The Turkish surroundings made an exotic and very pleasant stage for the CERTCOST meeting.

    The 3rd project meeting of CERTCOST took place on 5-7 October 2009 and was well organised by the Turkish project partners from EGE University in Izmir, Turkey



    27 August 2009 Subscribe to RSS news feeds from CERTCOST
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    29 July 2009 Economic theory applied on organic food products
    A new public CERTCOST report applies economic theory on food products and the certicifation system. It also presents a brief overview on the organic certification system itself.

    Economic theory applied
    Based on a synopsis of the existing literature, the authors have developed a theoretical framework of organic certification and classified relevant transaction costs, which are specifically linked to the production and commerce of organic food products.

    Glossary explains organic certification terms
    The report also contains a brief and concise overview on the organic certification system itself. This glossary is a very helpful collection and explanation of specific terms for everybody interested in the organic certification system. Relevant terms regarding inspection and certification (part A) and economic concepts (part B) are compiled in the glossary, to be found in the "annex" of this report.

    A history of organic certification
    The organic certification in place in the European Union was established in the 1990s. The idea of organic agriculture however is much older, dating back to the 1920s. The first chapter of the report presents the development of organic farming and the resulting formation of today’s certification system.
    Get the public CERTCOST report

    25 June 2009 Second project meeting in Viborg was successful

    The second CERTCOST project meeting was held in Viborg, Denmark, under the auspices of ICROFS and the University of Aarhus.



    During the project meeting, the progress and first research results were presented and discussed by the project partners. Future work plans were slightly rescheduled for the sake of the most beneficial overall outcome of the project.

    The CERTCOST project coordinator, Stephan Dabbert, made an excellent job to ensure an effective and positive meeting spirit, and there was a sense of motivation and excitement among the partners owing to the presentations of the first preliminary research results. Unfortunately, these results are not made public yet.

    The Danish surroundings made a good meeting platform for the CERTCOST partners responsible for the project tasks of the various work packages.

    The 2nd project meeting of CERTCOST took place on 25-27 May 2009 and was well organised by Lizzie Melby Jespersen, Grethe Hansen, and Simon O. Rebsdorf from ICROFS in Viborg, Denmark.



    16 April 2009 New report on the Stakeholder Meeting in Izmir

    A new report on the stakeholder meeting in Izmir ihas been published.

    The new report is entitled Stakeholder Views on Improving the Organic Certification System: Results from an EU Level Workshop and it covers the views of the stakeholders on the project work plan and the modifications agreed upon. You can find the report by clicking "Public documents" in the top Menu and then clicking the submenu "Public reports"


    Then select the file icon (sheet) in right column to open or save the document.


    06 March 2009 The second project meeting in May 2009 is held in Viborg

    The next, second, CERTCOST project meeting will be held in Viborg, Denmark, 25-27 May 2009.

    This meeting is organised by the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems, ICROFS. Find more information about the meeting location by going to the ICROFS homepage

    06 January 2009 Stakeholder meeting in Izmir, November 13-15

    The Stakeholder Meeting was held under the auspices of the EGE University, Izmir, in the staging of the CERTCOST project.



    A series of invited stakeholders participated in the meeting, all sharing interest in certification of organic food systems in Europe. And the Izmir surroundings constituted a good meeting platform for the stakeholders on the one side and the CERTCOST project participants responsible for the various project work packages on the other side.

    The meeting was well organised by Bülent Miran and his colleagues from the EGE University in Izmir, Turkey.



    17 September 2008 Kickoff meeting in Sirolo, September 11-13, 2008

    The project meeting was well organised by Raffaele Zanoli and his colleagues from the Polytechnic University of Marche, Italy.





    Group photo from Certcost project meeting (you can click on the photo to enlarge it)


    03 September 2008 Welcome to the CERTCOST EU project homepage

    On this home page you can find all information about project partners, workpackages etc.

    We will currently disseminate results from the project and we will use this platform for interaction with different stakeholder groups. We will dedicate a special section of the homepage for that.

    The kickoff meeting of this project is held in Sirolo 11-13 September 2008.


    Web site provided by Aarhus University, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agroecology and Environment.
    Report technical problems to webmaster: Jens Grønbech Hansen.
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    29 August 2015

    Key scientific journal articles

    1. An analysis of the risks of non-compliance with the European organic standard: a categorical analysis of farm data from a German control body. Food Control 2013: 30(2): 692-588
    2. Product labelling in the market for organic food: Consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay for different organic certification logos. Food Quality and Preference 2012: 25(1): 9-22
    3. Consumer perception of different organic certification schemes in five European countries, Organic Agriculture 1(1) 2011:31-43
    4. Supervising a system of approved private control bodies for certification: The case of organic farming in Germany, Food Control 25 (2), 525-532, 2011
    5. Consumer reactions to organic certification logos, British Food Journal 2011
    6. The mandatory EU logo for organic food: Consumer perceptions, British Food Journal 114
    7. Standards und Kennzeichen für Öko-Lebensmittel aus Verbrauchersicht: Empfehlungen für agrar-politische Entscheidungsträger. In: Berichte über Landwirtschaft, Vol. 88, No. 1, 2010: 86-102

    See full list of journal publications

    Organic Eprints

    Link to orgprints.org/view/projects/eu-certcost.html
    Search the open archive database for literature research on organic farming, certification, rules etc.

    Organic rules and certification

    Link to www.organicrules.org
    Please search this database for organic rules, certification bodies and -systems

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