BQASBeef Quality Assurance Scheme (Irish food board)
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This huge hole in BQAS procedures within the ROI compared with those demanded in the UK can only be repaired if SWS earns EN45004 accreditation and re-inspects the 7,500 farms or Bord Bia signs a new contract with a company with EN45004 accreditation and it begins a new round of inspections.
Over 9,600 farms have been certified under the new BQAS, there are some 13,100 farms registered, with the balance in the process of audit and certification.
EN45011 only confirms that an approved system of certification is in place and it is carried by BQAS even though qualifying farms need only to hit 65% of its Category 1 standards and 50% of Category 2," said Mr Forster.
But the NBA says BQAS standards fall well short of those in the UK because a farm can be awarded an assurance certificate after achieving only 58% compliance compared with the 100% demanded across the UK.
But even though there are 72 verifiable standards in BQAS, only eight are critical requirements, there are only 10 in Category 1 compared with a massive 54 in Category 2.