Protected Designation of Origin is a label that offers both producers and consumers a certain number of assurances:
- Preservation of traditional artisanal savoir-faire
- The setting of shared production regulations
- Production within a specific geographical area
- Monitoring that guarantees production conditions are met.
In place in order to strengthen the PDO’s brand and justify the price difference to consumers, it is essential to ensure that these assurances are always met. To do this, it is important to ensure that an efficient monitoring system exists – without however being dogmatic.
Monitoring takes place via 4 mechanisms:
- Self-monitoring, that is, monitoring by everyone individually to ensure that production conditions are met
- Internal monitoring carried out by the Regional Inter-professional Bleu d’Auvergne Syndicate (SIRBA)
- External monitoring carried out by an independent certifying body: CERTIPAQ. The certifying body ensures that everything is done to meet the product specifications (monitoring producers, but also SIRBA)
- Quality control of the cheeses: at least 6 times per year for each processor.
The monitoring plan determines the controls and sanctions depending on the importance of the criteria and the extent of the deviation. Sanctions relating to any failings involve a warning that certification will be withdrawn. Whatever the failing or the extent of deviation, product specifications must be met. The severity of the sanction therefore increases in the event of repeat offences.