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FAQ Organic food and Products - Frequently Asked Questions - Organic Link - ITC(23)

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     How can a local or national certification body be established?

     A local certification body may be established as a private, non-governmental body, a public body or as a combination of the two. It may be based on a purely private or public initiative, or on co-operation between various sector players and interests. In order to ensure that the body can be financially sound, it is important to ensure that its services are in demand amongst organic and potential organic operators, and that its services provide market access at competitive prices. Certification bodies must comply with the international ISO/IEC Guide 65 in order to become accredited in international markets. The Guide may be obtained from national standards organizations. In order for the certification body to become accredited in relevant international markets, it must also comply with the specific certification body requirements of those markets. For instance, for a body to become recognized in the US, the body must show its competence and reliability in certifying against the National Organic Standard applicable in the US. A local certification body may be established with the assistance and co-operation of an international certification body or an organization providing technical assistance on the subject. Documents relevant for the establishment may be obtained at for instance the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement, IFOAM, www.ifoam.org. Steps and considerations for the establishment of local certification bodies are described in different reports. One publication on the subject is Building Trust in Organics: A Guide to Setting Up Organic Certification Programmes, written by G. Rundgren and published by IFOAM in 1997.