The KSL – Quality System in Agriculture – is a quality assurance and internal control tool designed for Norwegian farmers.
What is KSL?
The KSL – Quality System in Agriculture – is a quality assurance and internal control tool designed for Norwegian farmers. KSL allows farmers to easily check operations to comply with Norwegian laws, regulations and industry requirements. Using KSL allow farmers to send their raw materials with confidence via consignees, industry representatives, grocers and all the way to the consumer.
It all starts at the farm
KSL helps farmers build a good reputation for Norwegian food production. Using KSL allows farmers to document the value chain of raw materials from a farm that takes animal, plant and human welfare seriously while protecting the natural environment – under the strictest of national laws and regulations. More than 35 000 farmers carry out internal audits on their operations every year using the KSL Standard as their tool. More than 60 KSL auditors visit over 5000 farms every year to review and monitor the farms’ routines.
Who decides what laws and requirements apply?
KSL compiles all legal provisions for agricultural industries from laws, regulations and trade standards. These laws and regulations are mainly managed by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. The various trades also have their own rules and requirements for the industry. These requirements are prepared by committees and professional groups composed of representatives from a wide range of food and agricultural industry organizations.
What advantages does KSL offer?
The advantage of using KSL is that everything is gathered in one easy-to-use system. The farmer does not have to deal with several quality assurance systems from the many purchasers of their products along the value and sales chains. The farmer is alleviated from hours of searching for rules and regulations on his own, searching for and submitting documentation on production to many recipients. There are over 2000 pages of laws and regulations that provide guidelines for agriculture operations and farming etc. The KSL Standard has compiled all of these in one easy-to-use system.
Using KSL is free of charge. There are no direct costs or annual fees for the farmer. KSL is a very important collaboration by the stakeholders in primary production and agriculture, so KSL operations and development are financed through agricultural negotiations and agreements. Joint financing is an important argument for the independence of KSL and its role in the industry. We need to serve a multitude of production environments along the value chain of commodities that flow to competing buyers and distributors.
What is a national industry standard?
The Food Safety Authority and the Labour Inspection Authority recognise KSL as the national industry standard. A national industry standard begins with the industry itself proposing how the relevant rules should be understood and a recommendation on how they can be satisfied and complied with. This proposal is then sent to the Food Safety Authority for assessment. When the proposal is accepted, the work is finally designated as the national industry standard in the relevant area.
Supervision and control
In addition to a farmer’s internal control routines, KSL auditors carry out more than 5000 farm audits every year. The Food Safety Authority also carries out supervision audits. How often a KSL auditor visits the farmer depends on the type of production. Farmers who keep livestock are visited more often.
Overall, a farmer’s own internal controls and external KSL audits have become a very good tool for documenting the safety and quality of Norwegian foods.
The KSL & Nyt Norge
So what does this mean for the Norwegian consumer? We have an expression at Nyt Norge: «Your choices matter». That means when you choose Nyt Norge when buying food products at the grocery store, you are choosing so much more. You become part of a great collaboration, all the way from the farm to your dining table. Nyt Norge demands that our collaborating farmers use the KSL Standard. Everything starts at the farm, through solid production that is documented through KSL!
With KSL in place and the Nyt Norge label on your product, we can promise our consumers that their food is produced and processed in Norway by skilled farmers who base their production on strict laws and regulations to ensure safe food of the highest quality!