International Organic Accreditation Service
The IOAS is pleased to announce two new applications for accreditation. One is from Ecocert-Afrisco (Pty) Ltd based in South Africa which has applied for accreditation against IFOAM Norms, ISO/IEC Guide 65 and EU equivalence. The second application is from CONU– the Center for Environment-Friendly Agricultural Product Certification based in Guangju , South Korea which has applied for accreditation against IFOAM Norms. The contact persons are Diana Callear (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Oksoo Han (email@example.com) respectively. Welcome to both organisations.
Under the Canadian Organic Regime (COR), due to be fully implemented towards the end of 2008, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently conducting a review of the IOAS in response to our application to be an approved accreditation agent. The site visit is due in March. The initial list of approved accreditation agents is due to be published in April after which certification bodies will be invited to apply. The IOAS have prepared a question and answer document on the COR for certification bodies which is now posted on our web site at www.ioas.org/corqa.htm
On November 16, 2007 the European Commission published draft detailed import rules which, once finalised, will eventually be brought under a separate regulation. The rules provide a clearer idea on the various compliance and equivalence routes for product entry into Europe . In December and January the Commission has been further consulting with sector experts. It is anticipated that the final regulation will be published around July 2008. The IOAS has prepared a question and answer document on the new import rules for certification bodies which is now posted on our web site at www.ioas.org/euroeq.htm
The IOAS will, as usual, be attending BioFach, Nuremberg in Gemany on February 21-24, 2008 and invite any certifiers to come and talk with us about how the IOAS can assist them in preparing themselves for the above-mentioned changes in Canada and Europe. You may make an appointment by emailing Susan Hepper on firstname.lastname@example.org or just come by our display in Hall 1, stand 341.
The recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Organic Farming has approved a new logo for use on organic products in Europe . To view the logo go to the IOAS web site.
In the USA the debate on smallholder group certification continues. The November 2007 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board in the USA recommended a broadening of the concept of grower groups to include other types of multi-site operations like handlers and retailers and producer groups in developed countries. The USDA NOP will consider the recommendation further in 2008. The public comments on the topic have been added to the NOP web site (view here) and opinions are split down the middle.
At the 7thmeeting of the International Task force on Harmonisation in Bali , Indonesia on 27-30 November the International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies (IROCB) were further discussed and final issues resolved. In order to bring the IROCB to the attention of governments the meeting proposed ITF should advocate to the ISO CASCO group working on revision of ISO65 and to Codex Alimentarius to consider the document. Meanwhile IFOAM will house the document after the ITF disbands in 2008 until a more permanent home can be found. View latest draft of IROCB document here.
IOAS is proposing to offer the following training during 2008: ‘Management of Organic Certification’?and ‘Assessment of Organic Certification Bodies’ on Sept 24-26 and Sept 29 – Oct 2 respectively at FiBL, Frick , Switzerland . A second course on ‘Management of Organic Certification’ is also proposed in November 19-21 for a location in South East Asia to be decided. Please check for details and registration forms on the IOAS web site.
Following the appointment of Angela Jackson in July 2007 and due to continued expansion, the IOAS is again wanting to appoint a further Client Manager to join our team. Please visit our web site for details. The closing date for applications is February 20, 2008.
During 2007, and after consultation, the IOAS has fully adopted the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) guidelines on ISO/IEC Guide 65. One of the requirements for IOAS accredited certifiers against ISO65 is the need for operator certificates to bear the name or logo of the IOAS. Certifiers have until December 31, 2008 to implement this change. The measure is aimed at bringing greater clarity on whether an operation or product is within the scope of accreditation.
The logos of the following certifiers IFOAM Accredited programmes have changed in the last year: AsureQuality , New Zealand , CCOF , USA , LETIS, Argentina , WSDA , USA . Please visit the IOAS web site www.ioas.org/acbs.htm to see up to date details of each IOAS accredited certification body and the logo that relates to the accredited programme. Only products or certificates bearing the relevant programme logo or name are assured as under IOAS suveillance.
Commentson the performance and compliance with relevant norms are invited on the following certification bodies which are undergoing, or about to undergo, assessment or reassessment: TECPAR, Brasil (IFOAM), Ecoinspect, Rumania (ISO65), WSDA, USA (IFOAM & ISO65), Naturland, Germany (IFOAM), OIA, Argentina (IFOAM), JONA, Japan (IFOAM & ISO65), BIOS, Italy (IFOAM), BIO-GRO, New Zealand (IFOAM),? ACT , Thailand (IFOAM & ISO65), Bioagricert, Italy (IFOAM), Ecocert-Afrisco, S.Africa (IFOAM and ISO65), CONU, S.Korea (IFOAM)
Complaintsare also invited on the work of both IOAS and accredited certification bodies. Complaints should be submitted in writing, providing as much detail as possible on the issue. The IOAS complaints policies can be found here.
For a complete list of IFOAM and ISO65 Accredited certification bodies, their scope and countries of activity, please go to www.ioas.org/acbs.htm? and follow the links.
For more general information about the IOAS and the services we offer, please visit www.ioas.org
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International Organic Accreditation Service
A non-profit organisation
40, 1st Ave West , Suite 104 , Dickinson,
N.D. 58601, USA
Tel: +1 701 483 5504???? Fax: +1 701 483 5508