Under the agreement, ANSI will engage IOAS as an independent contractor to perform assessor services, including initial evaluation and ongoing surveillance of specified applicants, for ANSI's food safety accreditation programs.
The agreement applies to certification bodies active in the fields of organic and sustainable agriculture that are already accredited by IOAS or have applied for IOAS accreditation, and have also applied to ANSI for accreditation under one of the following ANSI-recognized programs:
"When it comes to sustainable and organic products, consumers want to have confidence in the quality and safety of the food they eat," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "Food suppliers - and the regulatory bodies that monitor them - demand an assurance that stringent food safety standards are being followed. And trust in this assurance is built on an accreditation assessment of the competence of those organizations certifying compliance with these standards."
ANSI is an internationally recognized accreditation body authorized by various food safety scheme owners to conduct accreditations in accordance with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). ANSI's authorization by GFSI is by virtue of being a signatory of the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC). Multilateral recognition of product certification eliminates duplicative conformity assessment costs for importers and exporters on a global scale. It also helps reduce technical barriers to trade, transmitting attestations of competence across borders.
IOAS is an independent, non-profit organization specialized in assessment and accreditation in the field of organic and sustainable agriculture. It implements a range of private accreditation schemes in its own right but also works as an assessor under regulatory schemes in Canada and the European Union. For more information on the IOAS, visit www.ioas.org.
"Partnering with ANSI in this aspect of accreditation melds the strengths of both organizations, serves the needs of the marketplace and further enhances the range of services that we provide," said David Crucefix, executive director (Business) of the IOAS.
Recognized by both government and industry as a trusted leader in this arena, ANSI's third-party accreditation helps to establish widespread public confidence in products, personnel, and systems. Product certification bodies that are accredited by ANSI must meet the requirements of Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, a document developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
For more information on ANSI's accreditation services, visit www.ansi.org/accreditation.