Search Icon White
News Cover Image

ANSI Launches Pilot Accreditation Program for Certification Bodies for the ANSI/LEO-4000 American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture


Applications accepted now through March 10, 2017

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, has been selected by Leonardo Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to leveraging the competitive market to improve the environment and advance sustainability, to accredit certification bodies (CBs) that intend to operate certification programs in accordance with the ANSI/LEO-4000, American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture.

ANSI is conducting a pilot CB Accreditation Program for the standard and is accepting applications for this pilot program from January 12 through March 10, 2017.

"We are extremely happy to have ANSI come on board to accredit certification bodies for the ANSI/LEO-4000 American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture," said Michael Arny, president of Leonardo Academy. "Having the professional oversight of ANSI accreditation will assure the quality and credibility of certification under this standard."

"Accreditation by ANSI creates a valuable attribute for certification bodies," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSIs vice president of accreditation services. "We are proud that Leonardo Academy has recognized this value and are pleased to partner on this important program."

About the ANSI-LEO-4000 Standard

ANSI/LEO-4000 is a comprehensive sustainable agriculture standard that addresses all three aspects of sustainability: environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic prosperity. This standard empowers the entire agricultural supply chain, from producers to consumers, to advance sustainability. The standard provides clear communication of farm production sustainability achievements down the supply chain, and clear communication of buyer requests for farm production sustainability achievements up the supply chain. The standard also provides buyers and sellers with reliable benchmarking through four levels of certification (bronze through platinum), and a structure that encourages continuous improvement strategies.

The users of this standard include producers, investors, processors, manufacturers, distributors, food service providers, retailers, and consumers. This standard currently addresses agricultural crops and will be expanded to address animal production in the future. It was developed by the Leonardo Academy, an ANSI-accredited standards developer, and has been approved by ANSI as an American National Standard.

About the Pilot Accreditation Program for CBs

To promote and ensure the integrity of sustainability claims made about farm production and products made from farm production, from producers down the supply chain to consumers, third-party verification by certification bodies (CBs) adds an important layer of confidence and quality assurance. The CBs assess performance under the standard's requirements and continually monitor adherence to the standard. To provide this service, CBs are assessed by an accreditation body such as ANSI against requirements detailed in the ANSI/LEO-4000 American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture and in the Accreditation and Certification Procedures Manual for Accreditation Bodies and Certification Bodies for the ANSI-LEO-4000, American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture. The main purpose of these procedures is to assure credible, consistent, and reliable implementation of this standard and of the communication of achievements under this standard through a third-party accredited oversight process.

CBs seeking accreditation by ANSI to conduct certification for the ANSI/LEO-4000 American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture are required to comply with applicable requirements and processes detailed in the standard, as well as with ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services, and ANSI Policy - PL - 102, Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs. Following the completion of a successful ANSI assessment of their competence in accordance with these requirements, CBs will be granted ANSI accreditation of their process in accordance with ISO/IEC 17065 and the ANSI/LEO-4000 American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture scheme.

ANSI's accreditation program meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 1701, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which represents the highest internationally accepted practices for accreditation bodies. The Institute's portfolio of accreditation services includes programs for all types of certification and verification bodies, including those for products, personnel, and greenhouse gas emissions as well as standards developers.

To obtain an application for this new pilot accreditation program, please contact Reinaldo Figueiredo (; 202.331.3611), ANSI senior program director for product and process accreditation, or Elizabeth Okutuga (; 202.331.3627), ANSI program coordinator for ANSI's product certification accreditation program.

About Leonardo Academy

Leonardo Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to leveraging the competitive market to improve the environment and advance sustainability. By utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability strategies, education, and implementation, the organization strives to make sustainability practical for everyone. Leonardo Academy has been an ANSI-accredited standards developer since 2006.


Jana Zabinski

Director, Communications and Public Relations



Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist