IFOAM Organics International launches global directory for organic certifiers
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Guest Article by Sara Anselmi
The Organic Certifiers’ Directory is a global database for third-party certification bodies. It displays detailed information on third-party certifiers, such as the countries where they provide certification or inspection activities, which market approvals they have and which private labels they use (if any).
The new directory also displays the standards used by the certification bodies and whether they offer additional services such as organic input approval, aquaculture certification, or certification to an IFOAM-accredited program.
Focus on third-party certifiers
The focus of this directory is on third-party certifiers only, and includes both private and public certification bodies. Other certification systems, such as Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), are not included. Comprehensive data on PGS initiatives is gathered by IFOAM – Organics International and displayed on its website in the form of a PGS Global Map.
The aim of the Organic Certifiers’ Directory is to help operators, governments, non-governmental organizations, development cooperation agencies, projects coordinators and other interested parties easily identify certifiers which could offer them the required organic certification services in a given country.
“This global, comprehensive directory is a unique service that IFOAM-Organics International provides, since Grolink stopped producing the Organic Certification Directory in 2013”, says Joelle Katto-Andrighetto, the Head of Policy & Guarantee at IFOAM – Organics International.
Tool for more transparency
The Directory is a free service that gives visibility to the certifiers and aims at increasing transparency in the sector. “Our work will be positively impacted by our presence in the IFOAM Organic Certifiers’ Directory, as we will be easily identified in this important database, which will facilitate access to information by producers and consumers worldwide”, shares Kiwa BCS Costa Rica Ltd.
Additionally, Organic Certification Co. Ltd, a certification body based in Japan, shares: “Since the MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture of Forestry and Fisheries in Japan) promotes overseas certified operators, the Directory will be of use to us in doing this more [and] (…) to have an experience and knowledge exchange”
About the directory
Originally, the directory was published annually in The Organic Standard (TOS) from 2003 to 2013 under the name “The Organic Certification Directory”. In 2013, the TOS database was passed on to IFOAM – Organics International. IFOAM – Organics International has now published the Organic Certifiers’ Directory. More than 100 certification bodies are already represented on the platform.