This project shall develop a harmonized inspection approach for animal welfare in organic farming and corresponding training concepts for organic inspectors. Such an approach does not exist in the European Union up to now. The focus on animal-related indicators is an innovative audit solution which supports best – according to recent European research and development projects – a good life of farm animals.

The training concept shall use a blended learning approach, consisting of the use of an E-learning-Platform, lectures and practical exercises on organic farms to ensure the learning success of the participants. The training shall involve specialists from different EU member states. The output of the project applied for may not only be used by organic inspectors, but also by official animal welfare inspectors in future.

As animal welfare inspections require specific audit methodology, particular observational skills of organic inspectors with regard to animal related indicators and a different documentation methodology (descriptive part of the inspection report instead of checklists, photo documentation), this project tackles a new and innovative inspection methodology with regard to animal welfare which shall be included into the inspection toolbox developed within the project IRM-Organic.

Work Packages

The project is structured into seven work packages (WP):

WP 1: The project co-ordination by GfRS

  1. Cooperation with project partners
  2. Organization of physical meetings of the project partners
  3. Set-up and management of a project webpage including a newsletter section and an internal section for the project partner

WP 2: Evaluation of existing inspection concepts relevant for organic agriculture for animal welfare for different animal species in the EU member states

  1. Review of literature and approaches from recent EU-projects (e.g. Welfare Quality®, Animal Welfare Plattform and EUWELNET)
  2. Description and comparison of the existing inspection concepts of certification bodies

WP 3: Development of a common inspection approach. This includes as activities

  1. Development of a joint approach including animal-related indicators
  2. Feedback to the joint approach by an online-survey 
  3. Adjustment of the inspection concept

WP 4: Development of a training curriculum and a subsequent training concept for organic inspectors

  1. Drafting of the curriculum and the training concept
  2. Feedback by the project partners and of selected external national experts for animal welfare issues
  3. Adjustment and final curriculum and training concept

WP 5: Development of the E-learning-Platform and implementation of pilot training courses

  1. Organization and implementation of four pilot training courses in Germany, Italy, Poland and United Kingdom. The courses will be supported by a moderated e-learning tool for preparation including entry exams.
  2. Evaluation of courses
  3. Adjustment and final refinement of the traing concept 

WP 6: Dissemination and exploitation of the project results

WP 7: Project quality management