Organising certification and quality management

If an organic cotton project wants to sell its produce labelled ‘organic’, it needs to be certified by an agency recognized (accredited) in the countries whose markets it is targeting.

The journal “The Organic Standard” publishes a directory of certification bodies that is updated annually.

The certification of smallholder groups is based on an internal control systems (ICS), by which the farmer organisation or a company ensures that all individual farmers comply with the respective regulations. The IFOAM ICS training kit for producers provides detailed guidance on how to set up an internal control system.

The processes and documents involved in the extension and internal control system as well as in the organisational set-up and for the organisations’s other main functions, are described in an operating manual. This manual helps define how the organisation is to function and forms the basis for periodic reviews.

Internal inspector in the field
Internal inspector in the field (Kyrgyzstan 2008)

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