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GLOBAL G.A.P. endorsed by International Accreditation Forum (IAF)

The GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance certification scheme is the first product certification scheme ever to achieve official endorsement by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). This means more consistency and integrity for GLOBALG.A.P. Certificates issued as part of the Integrated Farm Assurance scheme around the world.

What is the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA)? Accreditation bodies (ABs) that are signatories to the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) are evaluated regularly by an appointed team of peers to provide confidence in the operation of their accreditation programs. The structure and scope of the IAF MLA consists of five levels:

Level 1 specifies mandatory criteria that apply to all accreditation bodies (ISO/IEC 17011).

The combination of a Level 2 activity(ies) and the corresponding Level 3 normative document(s) is (are) called the main scope of the MLA, which includes activities such as product certification and associated mandatory documents such as ISO/IEC 17065. The attestations/certifications made by CBs at the main scope level are considered to be equally reliable.

The combination of Level 4 and Level 5 relevant normative documents is called a sub-scope of the MLA, which includes conformity assessment requirements such as ISO 9001 as well as, from now on, the GLOBALG.A.P. scheme specific requirements. The attestations/certifications made by CBs at the sub-scope level are considered to be equivalent.

GLOBALG.A.P. only works with those ABs that are in the IAF-MLA for product certification. To date we have 35 ABs that are recognized by GLOBALG.A.P. and that are likely to extend their scope of the IAF MLA to include the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance scheme.

The IAF MLA delivers the confidence needed for market acceptance of conformity assessment outcomes. An attestation/certification issued within the scope of the IAF MLA by a body that is accredited by an IAF MLA signatory Accreditation can be recognized worldwide, thereby facilitating international trade.

What does this mean for GLOBALG.A.P.?
From now on, the peer evaluation process will not only take into account generic product certification requirements, but also the specific GLOBALG.A.P. normative documents that are now endorsed by the IAF. This adds yet another layer of assurance that the ABs accrediting the GLOBALG.A.P. approved certification bodies (CB) are competent and knowledgeable about GLOBALG.A.P.

Kristian Moeller, Director GLOBALG.A.P., said: “This fantastic achievement is a result of the ongoing close consultations and excellent relations between the IAF, its members and GLOBALG.A.P. for more than a decade. It is a milestone in international harmonization, and on behalf of all our stakeholders, I want to thank every expert involved in this endeavor!”

Randy Dougherty, IAF Chair, said: “The decision by IAF members to endorse the GLOBALG.A.P. scheme is the first step in establishing the IAF MLA for GLOBALG.A.P. and I am confident we can build upon the prior MOU to expedite the IAF MLA.”

For more information:
Elva Nilsen
IAF
Phone: +1 (613) 454 8159
Email: iaf@iaf.nu


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