|Internal Control Systems (ICSs) for Group Certification|
|News: final released formal NOSB Recommendation to the NOP on Certifying Operations with Multiple Production Units, Sites and Facilities under the National Organic Program, November 2008. (02/01/2009)|
|Report of the Modena panel discussion on “Group certification: who should be eligible?” available.|
|Definition and principles|
|An Internal Control System (ICS) is the part of a documented quality assurance system that allows an external certification body to delegate the periodical inspection of individual group members to an identified body or unit within the certified operator. This means that the third party certification bodies only have to inspect the well-functioning of the system, as well as to perform a few spot-check re-inspections of individual smallholders.|
|Historical background and current status|
|Smallholder groups have been certified on the basis of ICSs for many years. Since the mid 80s, even before public regulations on organic agriculture where developed, private certification bodies developed group certification systems in order to facilitate the certification of smallholder farmers in developing countries. Over the last decade however, private requirements regarding group certification / ICSs have differed considerably between different certifiers.|
IFOAM's work on Group Certification
To download the IFOAM training kit on ICS for smallholder group certification, click here.
To read the full text of IFOAM's position on smallholder group certification, click here.
You can read paragraph 8.3 of the IFOAM Accreditation Criteria, by clicking on the link in the "pdf-downloads" section in the right column of this page.
|IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture | email@example.com|