Many third-party, buyer-required audits have strayed from a science or regulatory basis to an emotional or social basis. Many now seek to control numerous management practices including pay rates, pesticide, fertilizer and other input use, land use, tillage practices, seed and cultivar use and even social media presence of the farm operation.
In most cases, the entire cost is borne by the farm and liability for down stream product issues is being moved from the buyer to the farm – if the farm fails to create the massive documentation chains.
Some “required” audit practices are now in conflict with regulatory requirements placing additional burdens on farms. There are even instances where the requirements from one audit company conflict with another. While in other industries, federal agencies are likely to determine this relationship to be either an “enterprise” or even one of “employment,” farms have few or no protections particularly when faced with very low cost imported product that does not face the same requirements from the same buyer.
Contact:Craig Anderson | 517-679-5350 or John Kran | 517-679-5336
MFB #12 Food Safety
MFB #22 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
MFB #34 Sound Scientific Research Standards
MFB #47 Agricultural Labor
MFB #74 Environmental Protection & Authority
AFBF #340 Food Quality and Safety
AFBF #341 Food Quality Protection Act