Bord Bia considers remote audits through phone and video

Bord Bia is currently examining the possibility of conducting Quality Assurance audits remotely, communicating with farmers by phone and video, as part of a series of temporary measures and contingency plans in the face of Covid-19.

In a newsletter issued to Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance members, the Irish food board outlined the measures it has taken so far to limit the impact of the coronavirus, as well as what contingency measures it is putting in place in the event of an extension to current restrictions.

“In response to the threat of Covid-19, Bord Bia has postponed all audits, across our schemes,” the board said.

Also Read: Bord Bia postpones Quality Assurance audits and extends certification

“Members who are affected by a postponement have had their certificates extended for an initial period of 60 days.

“The Bord Bia Helpdesk remains open to support any farmer who recently had their audit and has closeout to complete. The Helpdesk can be contacted on: 01-5240410, open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 8:00pm.”

The newsletter noted that the authority’s Quality Assurance team is currently putting contingency plans in place “in the event that normal auditing cannot resume beyond the postponement period”.

Temporary measures could include farmers providing video or photographic evidence and information to auditors over the phone.

Bord Bia stressed that such a system is “currently in development phase”, adding that it will only be used “where no further scope exists to extend current certification and to facilitate ongoing membership of the QA schemes”.

The Bord Bia Helpdesk will also be available to support farmers through this process should it be implemented at a future date, the food authority concluded.