Saturday, October 04, 2014

Who Polices the Police: Organics in Poland and Junk Bonds Here

When I read this piece at Vox on how the organic certifications and EU subsidies work in Poland, I was reminded of how the securities ratings firms work in the US (as in assigning AAA ratings to various securities leading up to the 2008 crash).

And ‘everyone’ includes the organic certification companies, who, on their own admission, do not conduct on-site inspections of either fields or harvests, because they are not legally obliged to do so. “If the certifying company nonetheless expresses some reservations, it will quickly be replaced by one of its more indulgent competitors,” explains Teresa Ropelewska of Agro Bio Test. Worse still, overzealous certifiers may even risk court action. As a result, discipline and discretion have become watchwords for companies that want to keep their customers.

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