IFOAM is First to be Compliant with the ISEAL Standards Setting Code

Bonn, July 20th 2006

The International Social and Environmental Labeling Alliance (ISEAL) has declared that IFOAM is fully compliant with ISEAL’s Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards, and is the first ISEAL member to achieve this status.

The ISEAL Alliance facilitated the development of a Code of Good Practice Setting Social and Environmental Standards to strengthen the credibility of social and environmental standards on the basis of how they are developed.? By adhering to procedures that constitute good practices, standard-setting bodies help to ensure meaningful results from the application of their standards.? In addition, a Code of Good Practice can serve as a minimum bar against which to measure the credibility of voluntary standards.

Compliance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice ensures that standard-setting practices are credible and effective.? This means that:
  • the standard will not create unnecessary barriers to trade;
  • the standard-setting process is transparent and open to interested stakeholders;
  • the standard has clear objectives, and criteria that meet those objectives;
  • there is meaningful participation by those stakeholders that are directly affected by the implementation of the standard; and
  • there is a balance of input in the discussion and in the decision-making on the standard.
Ultimately, being compliant with the Code of Good Practice strengthens the effectiveness of a standard and the likelihood that compliance with the standard will lead to positive social and environmental practices.

IFOAM undertook first a self-assessment of its policies, procedures and practices for developing the IFOAM Basic Standards. This was followed by a peer review conducted by other ISEAL members. During the process, the peer group discusses non-compliances and other related issues, ensuring that there is a plan for the organization to come into compliance.? The peer group found that IFOAM did not have any major non-compliances.? IFOAM has developed an action plan to address the two minor non-compliances that were identified in the self-assessment. “IFOAM has well formulated policies and procedures for standards setting, which are a benchmark.” observed ISEAL’s Technical Director, Patrick Mallet.? “This made my work to guide their assessment quite easy.”

“IFOAM is very pleased to be the first ISEAL member organization to be declared compliant with the Standards Setting Code," stated IFOAM Executive Director, Angela Caudle.? “But this is not surprising.? Our thirty years’ experience in developing standards have brought us into leadership in this field.? The result is that the IFOAM Basic Standards are internationally respected and trusted to contribute to positive environmental and social practices.”?

For more information contact Diane Bowen, Organic Guarantee System Manager
Tel: +1 414 352 5789
Email: d.bowen@ifoam.org

or visit the following websites:

IFOAM is the international umbrella organization of Organic Agriculture movements worldwide.

IFOAM’s mission is leading uniting and assisting the organic movement in its full diversity.

Our goal is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems that are based on the Principles of Organic Agriculture.

IFOAM Press Release, Responsible: Angela B. Caudle, Contact: Neil Sorensen

Head Office Contact
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5
53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel: +49-228-92650-10
Fax: +49-228-92650-99
Email: headoffice@ifoam.org





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