Advancing the global notion of "one standard - one test - one mark of acceptance," the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have signed an agreement that extends the recognition of ANSI's accreditation program for product certification bodies to include the GlobalGAP food safety standard.
As the global association of conformity assessment accreditation bodies, the IAF established its Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) program to help reduce technical barriers to trade and eliminate duplicative compliance costs. Product certification bodies that are accredited by MLA signatories are recognized as operating in accordance with the ISO/IEC Guide 65 (now ISO/IEC 17065) international requirements for product certification bodies.
Effective October 16, 2014, the scope of the MLA between ANSI and IAF has been expanded beyond ISO/IEC 17065 to include ANSI's accreditation of certification bodies under the GlobalGAP standard.
The GlobalGAP standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimizing detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical toxicants, and ensuring a responsible approach to animal welfare. ANSI is recognized as the accreditor of the GlobalGAP program.
Given the same product standard, the global marketplace can have the same confidence in ANSI-accredited certification bodies as in those accredited by other signatories.
ANSI first became a signatory to the MLA on October 26, 2007, a process that included an extensive peer review to ensure fulfillment of the criteria in ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies.
"Becoming a signatory to the IAF MLA was a critical milestone for the credibility of ANSI accreditation in 2007, and we are thrilled to announce this scope expansion," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "Not only does this recognition offer a tremendous benefit to ANSI-accredited product certification bodies under the GlobalGAP standard, it also continues to demonstrate the Institute's competence in the eyes of our peers."