Revision criteria chain managers

Various developments have taken place since the introduction of the BLL criteria for chain managers in 2018. The criteria have been revised to ensure they are up-to-date. The main amendments are:

  • Two criteria have been amended to harmonise them with the wording in the modular structure: these concern criteria for approval by BLLF, the letter of approval, the contract with the BLL and cooperation during inspection by CBs.
  • Certain criteria relating to information provided to livestock farmers by chain managers have been tightened. This is the result of a number of situations when the chain manager omitted to inform some farmers about important BLL developments.
  • There was a lot of uncertainty about visits made by the chain manager to the farms and the reports of these visits. This aspect has been clarified and tightened up in several, relevant criteria.
  • New criteria have been added: “Performing farm visits at participating livestock farms” and “Initial farm visit of chain manager to new livestock farms”. These new criteria distinguish between the requirements for the procedure in the chain manager’s quality manual and how the (initial) farm visit is actually performed by the chain manager.
  • The frequency of the annual farm visits by the chain manager to livestock farmers has increased from 25% to 100%. This amendment is also intended to improve how information is provided to livestock farmers by chain managers and to increase the chain manager’s level of involvement with livestock farmers. This will enable the chain manager to better fulfil their role as a supervisor and inform and help farmers if there are new developments, shortcomings in farm management or exemptions. In addition to physical visits to the farm, information sessions can also be organised such as seminars, evening meetings, etc., provided an attendance list is used as confirmation. Attending info sessions applies upto 50% of the number of participants, to complement the 50% of farm visits.
  • The criterion stating that chain mangers receive reports from CBs has been removed. The CBs do not send this information to the chain managers, which is the reason that chain managers were often unable to comply with this requirement. A new criterion has been included instead. This states that the chain manager must have an overview showing whether the farms have a valid certificate or not.
  • The criterion ‘Deregistering participating farms ‘ has been clarified. The interpretation has been tightened to better reflect the aim of this criterion.
  • Chain managers must enter the buyer or customer when registering a farm in the BLL portal. This buyer or customer sometimes changes. A new criterion has now been added that states that chain managers must also update the names of buyers or customers of the farms in the BLL portal.

The revised chain manager criteria have entered into force on 2 July 2024. A transitional period of 12 months applies to a limited number of criteria, S1.2.2, S10.5.2 and S10.5.5 (previously KR08b, KR10 and KR16). The sanctions for these criteria will change from recommendation to minor on 2 April 2025.

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What is a chain manager?

A chain manager is the party that registers livestock farms for certification with the Better Life label Foundation and monitors the livestock farms that are affiliated with its supply chain. In addition, the chain manager connects the various links in the supply chain, from primary participants up to processors/retailers (sellers) and all links that may be between these parties.

The chain manager can, for example, be the abattoir, processor, egg packing centre or an intermediary organisation (broker, intermediary).

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