The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements

The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements (IAR) is one of the three norms under the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System and published in the IFOAM Norms Version 2014. They establish requirements for conduct of organic certification by certification bodies in the frame of the IFOAM Accreditation Program and the IFOAM Global Organic System Accreditation Program

The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements Version 2.0 of 2014 has substantial changes compared to the earlier versions (2005 and 2012). Those changes were worked on by the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements Committee from 2012 to 2014 and approved by the IFOAM membership through electronic vote in July 2014. The development process of the IAR follows the IFOAM Policy 20 on the revision of the IFOAM Norms.

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Latest news

25/07/2014: IFOAM members approved by electronic vote the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements 2.0. The new version can be found in the 2014 Book of Norms. Changes from the 2012 to the 2014 version of the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements can be viewed in track changes here.

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History of the development of the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements

The IFOAM Accreditation Requirements was not revised, content-wise, since 2005. A new edition of it, with the new name (it was previously called the IFOAM Accreditation Criteria) was published in the IFOAM Book of Norms in August 2012. In June 2012, the IFOAM World Board appointed the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements Committee, and mandated it to initiate a revision of the Accreditation Requirements (IAR). The Committee started its work soon after.

Major inputs reviewed by the committee in this round of revision included: the new ISO 17065, the ISEAL Assurance Code and Group Certification Common Requirements, government requirements for CBs (particularly from the EU, US and Canada), and outcomes of the Anti-Fraud Initiative and CertCost project. The IOAS (International Organic Accreditation Services), which implements the IFOAM Accreditation Programs, also provided in-depth input after publication of the public revision plan in August 2012, which was open for public comments until September 4, 2012.

As a result of the committee work, the changes proposed by the committee in the version published for public consultation were significant as compared to the current version 2005. Changes were proposed in almost all sections of the document. Chapter 9 (“Acceptance of other product certification”) was completely re-written. 

Those proposed changes were released a first draft of the revised IAR for public consultation in July 2013. From 22nd of July to 21st of September 2013, the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements draft Version 2.0 was open for public comments. Version 2.0 in track changes as compared to the version 2012 is available here. The clean version (without track changes) is available here. The consultation document with all the details regarding this new draft and its consultation period is available here.

The consultation period ended on September 21, 2013. IFOAM received 87 comments from 6 commenters. The Accreditation Requirements Committee worked to respond to all comments and produced the draft to be presented for motions (Draft version 2.0), which was approved by the IFOAM World Board in November 2013. The compilation of comments and the committee responses are available here. The resulting new draft, draft Version 2.0, was presented to the membership for motions on November 25, 2013. The motion period extended until January 24, 2014. This news draft in track changes can be downloaded here. The clean version can be downloaded here. The call for motions document can be downloaded here.

IFOAM received 2 member motions. One of them was integrated as friendly amendment into the draft. The other was submitted to the membership for electronic vote. The vote ended in May 21,2014. The voting document can be found here. The motion was rejected. 

Following that, the final draft of Version 2.0 was submitted for final membership vote on June 2, 2014. The vote was electronic and was combined with the vote on the IFOAM Standard version 2.0. The voting document can be found here. Deadline for votes was July 15, 2014. The vote results were: 91% yes (approval), 4% no, and 5% abstention.

Changes from the 2012 to the 2014 version of the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements can be viewed in track changes here.

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