Any approvals which you have now will not be valid after 13 December 2014. If the RPA issue any formal approvals between now and when the scheme closes, they will end on 13 December 2014. However, any certificates of conformity may remain valid until their expiry date. But you should check this with the individual verification body.
The process for joining the Approved Beef Labelling Scheme includes your first verification visit. Once you are on the scheme, you must continue to have your traceability system verified annually to prove that the information you are giving your customers is still true.
You must use a verifier from the government’s list of approved verifiers
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, and engage them at your own expense.
How often to arrange verification
You should arrange for re-verification to take place every 12 months after your first verification report and certificate of product conformity are issued. You should plan ahead so that you can get the new certificate from your verifier and send it to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) before the old one runs out.
How to assist the verifier
Before the inspection of your traceability system you must let the verifier have a copy of your application and approved specification, so that they know exactly what labelling claims you are making.
During the inspection, the verifier needs to check that the labelling information you’re giving to your customers is accurate. During the visit, you must give them access to your premises and to your records.
You must have available:
your approval document from RPA
the certificate of product conformity issued by your verifier after your previous inspection
As with your original application, you will need to employ your verifier to report on the traceability control systems of any outlets you use for your beef or veal.
If the outlets are subject to verification for other claims, it may be convenient for the verifier(s) to co-ordinate verification with you to reduce costs.
After the visit
If the audit is satisfactory, the verifier will send you a new certificate of product conformity, together with a letter or report. You must send copies of these to RPA, ideally before the expiry of your current certificate. RPA will review them and, if they are satisfactory, will confirm your approval.
You must arrange for your labelling to be re-verified every year for as long as you wish to use the approved wording on your labelling.