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QAI, IBD Streamline EcoSocial, Organic VerificationsQAI, IBD Streamline EcoSocial, Organic Verifications

February 16, 2011

2 Min Read
QAI, IBD Streamline EcoSocial, Organic Verifications

SAN DIEGOQuality Assurance International (QAI) and IBD have joined to provide an EcoSocial and organic auditing program so U.S.-based organic business can receive social, environmental and organic certification in a unified program. This joint auditing initiative offers several advantages, according to QAI, including streamlining the auditing process and reducing certification costs for companies  that opt for both organic and EcoSocial certification.

We are honored to partner with the internationally recognized and respected IBD EcoSocial Program." said Jaclyn Bowen, general manager at QAI. QAI is committed to supporting an increase and improvement in social and environmental practices in the production of food, textiles and personal care products." 

The EcoSocial certification program, launched in 2004 by Brazil-based IBD, requires the use of specific tools to audit and verify social and environmental practices such as:

  • Emphasis on farmers or workers capacity to identify their problems and propose solutions;

  • Participatory planning of the investments related to EcoSocial premium;

  • Independent evaluation of premium use;

  • Progressive (continuous) improvement concept;

  • Equal rights and benefits for workers.

  • Economic development through payment of an EcoSocial premium.

  • Ban on child labor and discrimination.

  • Biodiversity conservation.

  • Natural resource management.

EcoSocial certification is based on standards and recommendations established by organizations such as the International Labour Organization, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International and Social Accountability in Sustainable Agriculture Project. Additionally, principles established by international agreements related to social and environmental management, such as Agenda 21, Global Pact Program, Millennium Declaration, Earth Charter and Human Rights Declaration were taken into consideration in creating EcoSocial standards.

Alexandre Harkaly, executive director of IBD, added, The IBD EcoSocial certification complements organic certification and builds upon the fair trade commitment so many consumers support. The IBD EcoSocial certification is designed for sustainable business models embracing key social, economic and environmental factors, and Im pleased to introduce these standards to the U.S. market in partnership with QAI."

The organic and EcoSocial certification processes require annual inspections of the location where the organic product is produced and handled to ensure that all USDA organic and EcoSocial standards are followed.  The process reviews the steps of the organic chain to verify that organic integrity is maintained: from the land on which the product is grown; to the producers growing the product; to the post-harvest facilities preparing the product; to the processing and handling facilities transforming the product.

To date QAI has facilitated two joint EcoSocial inspections in the United States.  In addition to the United States, EcoSocial certified operations exist in China, Thailand, India, Belgium, Holland, Brazil, Paraguay and Canada. 

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