Bord Bia postpones Quality Assurance audits and extends certification

Bord Bia has announced that it will be postponing its Quality Assurance (QA) audits and consequently extending the validity of certification on relevant farms due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a query on the matter from AgriLand this afternoon, Wednesday, March 18, a spokesperson for the Irish Food Board confirmed the news this evening.

“The risk of exposure or transmission of Covid-19 during the audit process can be greatly reduced by following Department of Health guidelines around social distancing; however, the risk cannot be completely eliminated.

Therefore, in order to do our part in controlling the spread of Covid-19, Bord Bia has decided to postpone all audits, across our schemes for two months and extend the validity of current certificates where applicable for an initial period of 60 days.

Such an extension scenario is already provided for within the standard, Bord Bia’s statement noted.

Bord Bia said it acknowledges “the tireless work of our members in continuing to supply QA produce to consumers, at home and abroad, during these challenging times”.

“We will continue to act on the advice of the Department of Health and the HSE [Health Service Executive] in order to monitor the risks associated with the audit process, and will directly inform our members when normal auditing practices can resume,” the authority’s spokesperson concluded.