Audit trail exercises for livestock
Organic inspectors are required to conduct at least one complete audit trail exercise and a feed audit at each inspection. The audit trail evaluates your recordkeeping system as well as activities for traceability and compliance.
How does an audit trail exercise work?
For livestock producers, a complete and thorough audit trail enables a product — e.g., a finished brick of cheese — to be traced back to the sourcing and handling processes of all of its ingredients. An inspector will be able to easily review a livestock product and the production inputs used, feed sources and pastures grazed, and more.
How do I build my recordkeeping system so it’s easily audited?
It’s critical to establish a common link between all activities, materials and documents in your control system. For instance, using animal identification codes enables a reviewer to work through each phase of your operation. From grazing and feeding to health care, identifiers make individual records traceable, timely and transparent.
No matter what system you use, it’s critical that your records are well understood by all employees and are clear for inspectors and certifier review.