Sri lanka Quality Center – SLQC

Product & System Certifications

 System Certifications

   

  • IFS 
  • BRC 
  • FSSC 22000
  • ISO 22000 
  • HACCP 
  • GMP – Food 
  • GMP – Cosmetic 
  • RA (Rainforest Alliance) Certification
  • Fair Trade
  • ISO 9001 (QMS/Quality Management System)
  • ISO 14001:2015 (EMS/ Environment Management System)
  • ISO 45001 (OHSAS 18001 / Occupational Health & Safety Management System)
  • SA 8000 (Social Accountability)
  • ISO 50001 (Energy Management System
  • ISO 27001 (ISMS/ Information Security Management System
  • WRAP certification
  • Sedex Certification
  • Six Sigma
  • 5S Lean

Table of Contents

GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative)

 

  • The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a private organization, established and managed by the international trade association, the Consumer Goods Forum under Belgian law in May 2000
  • The GFSI maintains a scheme to benchmark food safety standards for manufacturers as well as farm assurance standards
  • The Global Food Safety Initiative is a business-driven initiative for the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide. 
  • GFSI provides a platform for collaboration between some of the world’s leading food safety experts from retailer, manufacturer and food service companies, service providers associated with the food supply chain, international organizations, academia and government
  • GFSI’s current focus is on extending the requirements to cover all scopes of the global food supply chain “from farm to fork”. Other important current activities include the development of a capacity building programme for small and/or less developed businesses to facilitate their access to local markets and a continuous focus on food safety auditor competence to bring industry experts in collaboration with key stakeholders to a common consensus on the skills, knowledge and attributes that a competent auditor should possess

IFS (International Featured Standard Food)

  • The IFS Food Standard is a GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) recognized standard for auditing food & Primary Packaging manufacturers. The focus is on food safety and the quality of processes and products. It concerns food processing companies and companies that pack loose food products
  • The Standard is important for all food manufacturers, especially for those producing private labels, as it contains many requirements related to the compliance with customer specifications
  • The Standard supports the production and marketing departments in their efforts for brand safety and quality. IFS Food has been developed with full and active involvement of certification bodies, retailers, food industry and food service companies.

Scope

The IFS Food Standard is used to audit food manufacturers regarding food safety and quality of processes and products. 

The list of requirements is organized in the following topics:

  • Senior management responsibility
  • Quality and food safety management system
  • Resource management
  • Planning and production process
  • Measurements, analysis, improvements
  • Food Defense

 

Benefits of IFS for your Company 

IFS Food certification can offer a number of key benefits to companies determining excellence in quality, food safety and customer satisfaction, and seeking a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Production department benefits:

  • Improved understanding between management and staff relating to good practices, standards and procedures
  • Monitoring of compliance with food regulations
  • More effective use of resources
  • Reduction in the need for customer audits
  • Independent third party audits,

Marketing department benefits:

  • Improved business reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality and safe products
  • Ability to trade with customers requiring third party audits
  • Use of the IFS logo and certificate to demonstrate compliance with the highest standards

BRC (British Retail Consortium)

  • Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8

    • The British Retail Consortium (BRC) first published its Global Standard for Food Safety in 1998. 
    • Developed to help the food industry comply with UK and EU food safety laws, it’s become an internationally recognized benchmark for best practice in food safety, quality and responsibility, with over 17,000 BRC-certified sites worldwide.
    • The Global Standard for Food Safety sets out requirements for how processed foods and other products (for example, branded foods; retailer-brand foods; or ingredients used by food service companies, caterers or manufacturers) should be made or prepared. Only those products manufactured, prepared or stored at the site audited as part of the certification will apply.

    The BRC standards incorporate

    • Senior management commitment

    The starting point for an effective food safety plan is the commitment of senior management to the implementation of the BRC Global Standard and continual development including a commitment to a food safety culture.

    • The Food Safety Plan-HACCP

    The BRC Global Standard requires the development of an effective hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) program based on the requirements of the internationally recognized Codex Alimentarius system

    • Food Safety & Quality Management System

    Ensure your company’s processes and procedures meet the requirements in a consistent application, with the inclusion of product specifications, supplier approval, traceability, and the management of incidents, food fraud, food defense and product recalls.

    • Good Manufacturing Practices

    The expectations for the production environment consisting of the layout and maintenance of the buildings and equipment, cleaning, pest control, waste management and foreign body controls.

    • Product Control

    Product design and development stage containing allergen management, product and ingredient provenance, product packaging and product inspection and testing.

    • Process Control

    The establishment and maintenance of safe process controls, weight/volume control and equipment calibration, and ensures the documented HACCP plan is put into practice.

    • Personnel Commitment 

    Organizations are required to ensure that all personnel performing work that affects product safety, legality and quality are demonstrably competent to carry out their activity, through training, personal hygiene standards and suitable site issued protective clothing.


    Benefits of BRC Standard for your Company 

    • Recognized certification by many retailers, food service companies and manufactures around the world
    • Decrease in costs attributed to withdrawals and/or recalls
    • Improvement in reputation and brand loyalty
    • Enhanced guidance to implement quality and safety in the organization
    • Protects your brand and your customers
    • Allows you to do business with those retailers, manufacturers, ingredients companies and food service organizations who specify certification as part of their approval process
    • Helps reduce the number of product recalls, customer complaints and rejected
    • Incorporates food safety management systems and internationally accepted best practice to ensure the safety and quality of products
    • Audits are carried out by trained and experienced certification bodies working to BRC Global Standards

FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification)

    • This new edition incorporates all the improvements included in the new ISO 22000 standard which has been published in June 2018. This can apply in the food and/or food packaging supply chain
    • ISO 22000 is not recognized by GFSI. FSSC 22000 is similar to ISO 22000 in that the FSSC 22000 scheme uses ISO 22000 as the requirements for the management system. However, FSSC 22000 includes additional requirements

     

  • Benefits of FSSC 22000 Standard for your Company 

    • Recognized certification by many retailers, food service companies and manufactures around the world
    • Decrease in costs attributed to withdrawals and/or recalls
    • Improvement in reputation and brand loyalty
    • Enhanced guidance to implement quality and safety in the organization
    • Protects your brand and your customers
    • Allows you to do business with those retailers, manufacturers, ingredients companies and food service organizations who specify certification as part of their approval process
    • Helps reduce the number of product recalls, customer complaints and rejected
    • Incorporates food safety management systems and internationally accepted best practice to ensure the safety and quality of products
    • Audits are carried out by trained and experienced certification bodies working to BRC Global Standards
    • Managing Risk

    Building an FSSC System will provide your company with effective management of food safety hazards by creating an environment capable of producing safe product and a management system to continually manage, monitor, validate and improve the system

    • Maintain current customers

    Certified companies are asking their suppliers to achieve certification. Chances are that if you have not been asked yet, you will be asked in the near future. Starting on your certification can help you stay competitive and qualified to work with your current customers.

    • Increase your market value

    Large retailers and multinational manufacturers or processors are also demanding certification of their suppliers. Having FSSC Certification means you are qualified to supply these organizations or their suppliers, opening up a large market for your products

    • Prepare for upcoming regulatory changes

    Countries across the globe are making changes to food safety regulations, its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSSC prepares your organization to meet many or most of the FSMA requirements.

    • FSSC can increase your market opportunities
    • FSSC can increase your customer’s confidence in your food safety practices and 

    FSSC can improve your internal processes to ensure safe product

ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management System)

    • It maps out what an organization needs to do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe

      • To make standards to comply with applicable regulatory and statutory food safety needs
      • To organize, update, operate, implement, and manage the food safety management system
      • To follow the standards to make the processes to be cost-effective
      • To improve communications about food safety issues to their customers, suppliers and related interested parties in the food chain
      • To assess and monitor customer needs
      • To ensure agreed customer requirements related to food safety
      • To ensure that the organization complies with standard food safety policy

      Benefits of ISO 22000 Standard for your Company

      • Reduction in food safety incidents and cost.
      • Compliance with legal and Codex HACCP principle.
      • Lower risk of liability.
      • Fewer errors and customer complaints.
      • Continual improvement in products & processes.
      • Resource optimization – internally and along the food chain.
      • Sustainable food safety performance.
      • Improves consumer / supplier /regulator confidence and relationships.
      • Platform for process and management control and improvement.
      • Competitive advantage in the marketplace.
      • Promotes international trade.
      • Improved overall performance.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)/SLS 1266:2011

      • Systematic, identifies specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. 
      • HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing
      • Three types food safety hazards are biological, chemical or physical hazards
      • Any company involved in the manufacturing, processing or handling of food products can use HACCP to minimize or eliminate food safety hazards in their product.
      • Implementing a HACCP System requires that both Prerequisite Programs and HACCP Plans are implemented

      Prerequisite Programs (PRPs)

      Basic conditions and activities that are necessary to maintain a hygienic environment through the food chain suitable for the production, handling, and provision of safe end products and safe food for human consumption

      • Safety of Water, Steam, and Ice
      • Cleaning and Sanitizing
      • Prevention of Cross Contamination
      • Maintenance of Hand-Washing, Hand-Sanitizing, and Toilet Facilities
      • Protection from Adulteration
      • Proper Labeling, Storage, and Use of Toxic Compounds
      • Control of Employee Health Conditions
      • Exclusion of Pests
      • Plant and Equipment
      • Ingredients & Packing Supplier management 
      • Temperature Control 
      • Training 
      • Calibration 
      • Traceability
      • Storage & Transportation 
      • Waste Disposal  

      HACCP is based on seven principles

      1.Conduct a Hazard Analysis

      2.Identify the Critical Control Points (CCPs)

      3.Establish a maximum or minimum limit for temperature, time, moisture level, pH, salt level, chlorine level or other processing characteristic that will control the hazard. This is the critical limit for the CCPs

      4.Establish Monitoring Procedures

      5.Establish Corrective Actions

      6.Establish Verification Procedures

      7.Establish Record Keeping Procedures

      Benefits of HACCP Standard for your Company 

      • Saves your business money in the long run.
      • Avoids you poisoning your customers.
      • Food safety standards increase.
      • Ensures you are compliant with the law.
      • Food quality standards increase.
      • Organizes your process to produce safe food
      • Organizes your staff promoting teamwork and efficiency
      • Due diligence defense in court.

GMP - Food (Good Manufacturing Practices/ SLS 143:1999)

    • GMP guidelines provide guidance for manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance in order to ensure that a manufactured product is safe for human consumption or use

      Many countries have legislated that manufacturers follow GMP procedures and create their own GMP guidelines that correspond with their legislation

      In Sri Lanka SLS 143:1999 (The Code of Practice for General Principles of Food Hygiene)

      The guideline follows a few basic principles

      • Manufacturing facilities must maintain a clean and hygienic manufacturing area
      • Manufacturing facilities must maintain controlled environmental conditions in order to prevent Cross Contamination from adulterants and allergens that may render the product unsafe for human consumption or use
      • Manufacturing processes must be clearly defined and controlled. All critical processes are validated to ensure consistency and compliance with specifications
      • Instructions and procedures must be written in clear and understand language using good documentation practices
      • Operators must be trained to carry out and document procedures
      • Records must be made, manually or electronically, during manufacture that demonstrate that all the steps required by the defined procedures and instructions
      • Deviations must be investigated and documented
      • Records of manufacture (including distribution) that enable the complete history of a batch to be traced must be retained in a comprehensible and accessible form
      • Any distribution of products must minimize any risk to their quality
      • A system must be in place for recalling any batch from sale or supply
      • Complaints about marketed products must be examined, the causes of quality defects must be investigated, and appropriate measures must be taken with respect to the defective products and to prevent recurrence

      Iran GMP

      • The Food & Drug Authority under the Ministry of Health & Medical Education in Iran has become very concerned and sensitive regarding the protection of their consumers from imported food & beverages.
      • Accordingly, the Iranian Authorities are seeking an undertaking from the state bodies of the tea producing countries on the quality of the final product exported to Iran. 
      • To facilitate this requirement, Iran expects a Certification of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) which is applied for manufacture and processing of final product for made tea.
      • The Government of Iran is therefore, requesting a Quality Certificate from all tea suppliers exporting to Iran to consider registration permitting the import. 
      • This certification is mandatory and has to be issued by the apex state body of the respective tea producing countries. 
      • The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) has taken action to commence a process which will enable interested exporters to apply and obtain a quality certificate for submission to Iran 

       

      Benefits of GMP (Food) Standard for your Company 

      • Enhances the food safety management system.
      • Increases consumer confidence in your products.
      • Helps to decrease operating costs due to rework and penalties due to non-compliance.
      • Helps boost export opportunities.
      • Reduced duplication of inspections.
      • Cost saving
      • Increases the creditability and offers a competitive advantage in the marketplace for contract manufacturers
      • Increases senior management confidence in the preparedness of manufacturing facilities for inspection

Cosmetic GMP/CGMP (ISO 22716:2017)

    • ISO 22716 is an international standard of good manufacturing practices (GMP) for the cosmetics manufacturing industry and describes the basic principles of applying GMP in a facility that produces finished cosmetic products. This guideline offers organized and practical advice on the management of human, technical and administrative factors affecting product quality.

      The Sri Lankan market for personal care products has undergone several changes as demand increases. Now, consumers of cosmetics products are not limited to only women but men as well. Thus, this trend allows the cosmetics industry to grow and develop rapidly.

      It covers manufacturing, storing, packaging, testing and transportation processes, distribution of finished cosmetic products. Even though the standard focuses on product quality. The guideline has been approved and accepted by many global regulatory bodies, such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

      Good manufacturing practices (GMP) are essential to any organization looking to reduce the risk and liability of their cosmetic product that can result from poor handling within their operation.

      The standard’s guidelines will provide your organization with practical methods for managing the many factors that can affect product quality.

      Benefits of ISO 22716 (Good Manufacturing Practice for Cosmetics)

      • Assure best industry practice of fundamental operational and environmental conditions required to produce safe products.
      • Produce quality products that are recognized and accepted internationally.
      • Gain a competitive edge against other companies in the market.
      • Ensure the safety of products for consumer use
      • Allows for easy implementation in organizations of all sizes and levels of complexity
      • Fosters legal compliance as adopted by regulators around the world

RA (Rainforest Alliance) Certification

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) based in New York City and Amsterdam, with offices throughout the world and operations in more than 60 countries. Its main work is the provision of an environmental certification on sustainable forestry and agriculture and tourism. In June 2017, the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ announced the intention to merge and in January 2018 the merger was legally closed and completed. The organizations merged in recognition of their similar work to address deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. The merged organization, going by the name the Rainforest Alliance, points to the increased size and strength of their combined expertise to achieve a scale of impact necessary to meet these challenges effectively. 

To allow a smoother transition to our new certification program, from July 1, 2019, companies can source Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified ingredients (or a mixture of both) and then use either the Rainforest Alliance Seal or UTZ label on their packaging. All the same labeling rules still apply. Companies can find more information about what they need to do here.

Two existing certification schemes are similar in terms of objectives and impact, so you can still be that companies using the UTZ logo or the Rainforest Alliance seal have sourced ingredients from farms audited to meet social, environmental and economic standards.

Frogs are indicator species, meaning that they are a symbol of environmental health, and they are found on every continent except Antarctica. RA green frog certification seal indicates that a farm, forest, or tourism enterprise has been audited to meet standards that require environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

 

Agriculture 

In order to become certified, farms (Tea Estate & Factory, Banana Plantation, and Cinnamon Plantation) must meet the criteria of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard. The Standard encompasses all three pillars of sustainability—social, economic, and environmental. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms are audited regularly to verify that farmers are complying with the Standard’s comprehensive requirements, which require continual improvement on the journey to sustainable agriculture. The Standard is built on these important principles of sustainable farming:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Improved livelihoods and human well-being
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Effective planning and farm management systems

 

Tourism 

Proprietors of tourism businesses, including lodging services and inbound tour operators, who demonstrate they are minimizing their environmental footprint and supporting workers, local cultures, and surrounding communities may also be eligible for using the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Third-party audits and certification by NEPCon confirm these businesses meet tourism criteria, which are recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The criteria require:

  • Protection of nearby ecosystems
  • Wise use of natural resources
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Benefits to the social and cultural development of surrounding communities

Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a designation developed to help consumers support products that come from farms that have been certified to provide fair wages and safe working conditions (forced child labor is prohibited). Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries. 

Fairtrade’s approach enables farmers and workers to have more control over their lives and decide how to invest in their future.

As a leader in the global movement to make trade fair, Fairtrade supports and challenges businesses and governments and connects farmers and workers with the people who buy their products.

By choosing Fairtrade, people can create change through their everyday actions. A product with the FAIRTRADE Mark means producers and businesses have met internationally agreed standards which have been independently certified.

Farmers and workers have a strong voice at every level of Fairtrade, from how they invest in and run their local organizations to having an equal say in Fairtrade’s global decision-making

Benefit of Fair Trade for your Company 

1) Benefit is that it increases the income of the producers of the farmers. This is achieved through two steps 

The price of the goods are paid at an agreed and guaranteed fair price for the producer and manufacturer.

The distribution channels involved in marketing the goods is also reduced thus the producers get a larger share from the price of the goods rather than the distribution company

2) Benefit is that because they now have a larger share of the pie, both farmers and workers have extra income with which to improve their lives. The price of a specific good is typically computed to cover the cost of both sustainable production and livelihood. A premium is also added to the price to be used as investment for development projects. These projects include building schools, funding scholarships and even used to fund low-interest loans for farmers and workers.

3) Benefit is that is involves greater environmental protection. The Fair Trade Certification being used to market the products does not only show where the good comes from and who benefits from it. It also tells consumer how the good was made and manufactured. For agricultural goods for example, the use of some pesticides is not allowed and hence giving consumer greater satisfaction in knowing that the goods are safe.

4) Benefit is the advantage that farmers are able to obtain a better and stronger foothold in the world market. Because buyers deal directly with the farmers, the farmers are able to get good prices for their products in the market.

5) Benefit is that it provides a closer link to the producers and consumers. Most consumers nowadays are environmentally conscious and thus want to know more about their products. In addition, consumers also want to know just how much the ones who originally make the products are getting. Thus in the end consumers become satisfied with the quality of their products and the farmers get satisfaction from knowing that they got paid accordingly for the goods they produced.

 

https://www.fairtrade.net/about/key-benefits-of-fairtrade

ISO 9001 (QMS/Quality Management System)

 

ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity.

This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in ISO’s quality management principles. Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.

The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems is a set of standards that helps organizations ensure they meet or exceed customers and other stakeholder needs/expectation within statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service.

What topics does ISO 9001:2015 cover?

ISO 9001 is based on the plan-do-check-act methodology and provides a process-oriented approach to documenting and reviewing the structure, responsibilities, and procedures required to achieve effective quality management in an organization. Specific sections of the standard contain information on many topics, such as:

  • Requirements for a QMS, including documented information, planning and determining process interactions
  • Responsibilities of management
  • Management of resources, including human resources and an organization’s work environment
  • Product realization, including the steps from design to delivery
  • Measurement, analysis, and improvement of the QMS through activities like internal audits and corrective and preventive action

Changes introduced in the 2015 ISO 9001 revision are intended to ensure that ISO 9001 continues to adapt to the changing environments in which organizations operate. Some of the key updates in ISO 9001:2015 include:

  • The introduction of new terminology
  • Restructuring some of the information
  • An emphasis on risk-based thinking to enhance the application of the process approach
  • Improved applicability for services
  • Increased leadership requirements

Benefits of ISO 9001:2015 Standards for your company

An effective Quality Management System (QMS) can provide benefits to your customers and give you a competitive advantage by:

  • Achieve greater consistency in the activities involved in providing products or services
  • Reduce expensive mistakes
  • Increase efficiency by improving use of time and resources
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Market your business more effectively
  • Puts greater emphasis on leadership engagement
  • Helps address organizational risks and opportunities in a structured manner
  • Uses simplified language and a common structure and terms, which are particularly helpful to organizations using multiple management systems, such as those for the environment, health and safety, or business continuity
  • Addresses supply chain management more effectively
  • Is more user-friendly for service and knowledge-based organizations

ISO 14001:2015 (EMS/ Environment Management System)

ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS). It provides a framework that an organization can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements. ISO 14001:2015 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve environmental management.

What topics does ISO 14001:2015 cover?

At the highest level, ISO 14001:2015 covers the following topics with regard to environmental management systems:

  • Context of the organization
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

10 major areas of impact of the 2015 revision:

  1. Expansion in EMS coverage and scope
  2. Required interactions with external parties
  3. New requirements for leadership engagement
  4. Expanded legal compliance requirements
  5. Need for risk-based planning and controls
  6. New documentation requirements
  7. Expanded operational control requirements
  8. Changes in competence and awareness requirements
  9. Impacts on the internal audit program
  10. Increased certification costs

Benefits of ISO 14001:2015 Standards for your company

Using ISO 14001:2015 has many benefits for organizations with environmental management systems. Organizations and companies find that using the standard helps them:

  • Improve resource efficiency
  • Reduce waste
  • Drive down costs
  • Provide assurance that environmental impact is being measured
  • Gain competitive advantage in supply chain design
  • Increase new business opportunities
  • Meet legal obligations
  • Increase stakeholder and customer trust
  • Improve overall environmental impact
  • Manage environmental obligations with consistency 

ISO 45001 (OHSAS 18001 / Occupational Health & Safety Management System)

ISO 45001 is an International Standard that specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, with guidance for its use, to enable an organization to proactively improve its OH&S performance in preventing injury and ill-health. ISO 45001 is intended to be applicable to any organization regardless of its size, type and nature. ISO 45001 enables an organization, through its OH&S management system, to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker wellness/wellbeing; however, it should be noted that an organization can be required by applicable legal requirements to also address such issues.

As an international standard, ISO 45001 crosses geographic, political, economic, commercial and social boundaries. This sets a single benchmark for the management of occupational health and safety. So if your organization operates or trades internationally, you can work to a single standard which can simplify your business.

Key Features of ISO 45001 Standards 

Although ISO 45001 constitutes a fully new standard, its foundations already exist and are formulated in OHSAS 18001. Companies that have already implemented an occupational health and safety management system in accordance with OHSAS 18001, and actively apply it in everyday company practice, can expect a smooth transition to ISO 45001.

Key improvements:

  • ISO 45001 implements the ‘high level structure’, giving it a common framework with other management systems, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
  • ISO 45001 places great emphasis on the responsibility of senior management. This aspect has already been implemented in the revised ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.
  • ISO 45001 explicitly includes persons who are not permanently employed, but are in other ways working under the responsibility of the organization/company, such as subcontractors, as well as processes that have been outsourced in their entirety. In this way it incorporates elements of the SCC certificate.
  • The standard also introduces the term “opportunities”, as a new aspect in the field of occupational health and safety. This covers issues that go beyond the mere elimination or minimization of OHS risks and hazards.

 

Benefits of ISO 45001:2018 Standards for your company

Certification against ISO 45001 will give your company many valuable competitive advantages, including:

  • Reduction of accidents by the systematization of all activities from a health and safety perspective
  • Legal clarity by complying with all applicable requirements
  • Protect the image of your company
  • Ensure the best possible working conditions throughout the organization
  • Cost saving through risk reduction
  • Strengthened commitment and motivation of employees through optimized work safety

SA 8000 (Social Accountability)

SA 8000 is an international certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. The SA 8000 standard can be applied to any company, of any size.

It was established by Social Accountability International in 1997 as a multi-stakeholder initiative. Over the years, the Standard has evolved into an overall framework that helps certified organizations demonstrate their dedication to the fair treatment of workers across industries and in any country.

SA8000 is based on conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Social Responsibility can strengthen your company’s reputation, in the current global business environment is motivating organizations to consider the full social and ethical impacts of their activities.

Companies that prove a responsible approach to social and ethical issues will gain a vital competitive edge and build confidence in its clients, investors, local communities and consumers.

 

Why does social accountability matter?

It is estimated that upwards of 100 million children worldwide are in full-time employment. Under the requirements of social compliance, companies must not allow child labor.

They must also provide a safe and healthy work place for all and respect the right of all employees to join a trade union. Discrimination, in any form, is not allowed and neither is corporal punishment or verbal abuse.

 

What kind of standards does social accountability ensure?

Those organizations who gain social compliance certification will ensure that their employees and those employees of their suppliers do not work for more than 48 hours per week or more than six days per week. Wages throughout the supply chain must be at worse equal to legal or industry minimum levels and must leave the employee with some discretionary income. The final requirement governing management systems sets out the procedures and structures that companies must adopt to ensure compliance with the standard is continuously reviewed.

 What are SA8000 main requirements?

There are nine key areas to Social Compliance and SA8000, which are:

  • Child Labour
  • Forced Labour
  • Health & Safety
  • Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
  • Discrimination
  • Disciplinary Practices
  • Working Hours
  • Compensation
  • Management systems

Within the key areas there is specific focus on

  • A ban on child labour and forced labour
  • Demanding and introducing humane working conditions
  • The guarantee of a living wage
  • No discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, or religion
  • The systematic improvement of working conditions
  • External verification (through certification)
  • The right to freedom of association, to organize in trade unions and engage in collective wage negotiations
  • Commitment to a maximum working period of 48 hours per week with one free day.

Benefits of SA 8000 Standards for your company

Having a robust and effectively implemented social accountability management will benefit your business by:

  • Enhancement of your brand, image and reputation
  • Improving worker morale and thus effectiveness
  • Creation of new opportunities
  • Giving you an edge over non-approved competitors
  • Attracting new customers
  • Attracting ethical investment
  • Demonstrating transparency to stakeholder

ISO 50001 (Energy Management System)

Used by large and small organizations across the world to manage and reduce energy use and costs, ISO 50001:2018 is an excellent framework to help implement an energy management system (EnMS).

From large retailers to smaller manufacturers and small businesses, the standard offers organizations the opportunity to become more resilient against energy costs and availability.

Whether you’re interested in certifying to ISO 50001 to reduce costs, comply with legislation or increase your sustainability, implementing the standard provides a systematic approach to achieving all three.

Energy management is now in the global spotlight, due to the pressing need to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Energy-saving technologies and facilities are only part of the methodologies for improving energy efficiency

A more sensible and systematic approach to improve an enterprise’s energy performance sustainably is to establish and implement a standardised, process-based energy management structure. Published on 15 June 2011, the ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard is a globally accepted framework for managing energy, providing technical and management strategies for enterprises to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs, and improve environmental performance.

Whilst relevant to any organisation, ISO 50001 certification is particularly relevant to organizations needing to demonstrate compliance with the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

EnMS is proving to be an effective strategy for governments and industries to cost-effectively reduce energy use. ISO 50001 is not only a global best practice model for comprehensive and strategic energy management, but also serves as a global benchmark for climate and clean energy action. Energy management systems based on ISO 50001 best practices, or ISO 50001 certification are often key elements of energy efficiency policies around the world for large energy users, as well as small to medium enterprises.

Benefits of ISO 50001 Standards for your company

  • EnMS adoption represents a strategic investment in sustainability and profitability. 
  • Businesses use EnMS to achieve and sustain large energy savings, 
  • Optimize processes, 
  • The aim is to drive down costs and boost competitiveness, and reduce risk. 
  • Governments support use of EnMS to help meet your policy goals for energy efficiency, energy security, economic growth, and climate change/carbon emission reductions.
  • ISO 50001 is used by large and small organizations all over the world & enhancing reputation

ISO 27001 (ISMS/ Information Security Management System)

ISO/IEC 27001 (also known as ISO 27001) is the international standard that sets out the specification for an ISMS (information security management system). Its best-practice approach helps organizations manage their information security by addressing people and processes as well as technology. 

An ISMS is a holistic approach to securing the confidentiality, integrity and availability of corporate information assets. It consists of policies, procedures and other controls involving people, processes and technology.

Informed by regular information security risk assessments, an ISMS is an efficient, cost-effective approach to keeping your information assets secure.

ISO 27001 certification will also demonstrate to your influential external stakeholders that you take information security seriously and can be trusted with their valuable information assets as well as your own. ISO 27001 standard is the internationally recognized best practice framework for an Information Security Management System (ISMS). 

ISO 27001 certification is not only about what technical measures you put in place. ISO 27001 is about ensuring the business controls and the management process you have in place are adequate and proportionate for the information security threats and opportunities you have identified and evaluated in your risk assessment. And that should all be done with a business-led approach to the information security management process.

The ISO 27001 standard requires that your data management staff are capable of systematically examining the organization’s information security risks. This means taking into consideration all vulnerable points in your system, the threats that could be posed to these weaknesses and also the impact it could have on your overall data management solution. It also requires that you design and implement a comprehensive suite of information security controls that can address risks that would be deemed as dangerous or risky. Lastly, it also requires that your management staff adopt a management process that ensures that all of your information security controls meet the information security needs of the organization.

Benefits of ISO/IEC 27000 Standards for your company

Doing nothing is probably not an option if you are accessing and managing valuable information assets owned by others. For some organizations, their whole business is built on developing or managing information assets. So in that case, losing some or all of that business, or not winning more in future probably means it’s worth investing in becoming certified to ISO 27001, especially if customers or other stakeholders like investors perceive a risk.

Achieving ISO 27001 certification is not as hard or as expensive as it used to be because of innovative solutions like ISMS.online. And, despite many of the strategic and financial benefits, some leaders still consider it a ‘grudge’ purchase and another bureaucratic tick box exercise. To achieve certification typically means a time and cost investment, like most strategic investments it is worth considering the return and broader benefits.

Benefits to your customers

  • Trust and assurance in you and your supply chain
  •  Reducing cost of supplier onboarding

Benefits to you

  • Protect IP (Intellectual Property), brand & reputation
  • Win more business from new & existing customers
  • Reduce the cost of sale
  • Retain more business
  • Improved processes leading to cost & time savings
  • Avoid fines from regulatory non-compliance 
  • Avoid civil suits resulting from a data breach
  • Avoid costs of remedial action resulting from incidents and/or breaches
  • Attract better staff

 

Benefits to your Satff

  • Trust in the organization’s sustainability
  • Training for work (and home security)
  • Clarity through policies & procedures
  • Pride in the organization and their role in protecting it

WRAP certification

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with regional offices in Hong Kong, SAR, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, full-time staff in Europe, India and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia), and for Latin America, WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.

Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) is the world’s largest factory-based certification programme for manufacturers of clothing, footwear and other sewn products. The WRAP programme certifies facilities for compliance with the 12 WRAP Principles which assure safe, legal and ethical manufacturing processes. A WRAP certification audit will inspect your entire production process to ensure you are compliant with the WRAP Principles and provides your customers assurance that your goods are ethically produced.

The 12 WRAP Principles consist of:

The WRAP Principles are based on generally accepted international workplace standards, local laws and workplace regulations, and include the spirit or language of relevant conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The Principles encompass human resources management, health and safety, environmental practices, and legal compliance including import/export and customs compliance and security standards.

The WRAP Certification Program’s objective is to independently monitor and certify compliance with these standards, to ensure that sewn products are being produced under lawful, humane and ethical conditions. Participating facilities voluntarily commit to ensuring that their manufacturing practices will meet these standards, and further commit to passing along, on their part, the expectation that their contractors and suppliers likewise comply with these standards

  1. Compliance with laws and workplace regulations
  2. Prohibition of forced labour
  3. Prohibition of child labour
  4. Prohibition of harassment or abuse
  5. Compensation and benefits as required by law
  6. Hours of work as limited by law
  7. Prohibition of discrimination
  8. Health and safety
  9. Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  10.   Environment
  11.   Customs compliance
  12.   Security

Benefits of WRAP Certification for your company

An independent, third-party WRAP certification audit offers multiple benefits to your brand:

  • Ensures apparel, footwear and other sewn-goods workers are treated fairly and humanely
  • Improves your brand’s reputation among consumers as a fair employer
  • Reduces health and safety hazards in the workplace, as well as industrial action
  • Improves employee engagement and boosts productivity
  • Avoids expensive litigation and reputational damage if one of your factories is found to be breaking relevant laws

Sedex Certification

Sedex meaning is Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, is a not-for-profit organization based in London, UK, open for membership to any company anywhere in the world.

Sedex is one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, working to improve working conditions in  global supply chains. Sedex provide practical tools, services and a community network to help companies improve their responsible and sustainable business practices, and source responsibly.

Using Sedex enables companies to work together to better manage their social and environmental performance, and protect people working in the supply chain. Sedex has over 60,000 members in 180 countries, across 35 industry sectors, including food, agriculture, financial services, clothing and apparel, packaging and chemicals.

Sedex is a membership organization for businesses committed to continuous improvement of the ethical performance of their supply chains. Companies join Sedex in order to use the Sedex web-based system, participate in Sedex governance , participate in working groups , network and engage with other Sedex members , utilise Sedex value-added services.

Sedex enables member companies to efficiently manage the ethical and responsible practices of their global supply chains, generating transparency through the provision of a data exchange.

Sedex focuses on four pillars. Members commit to improving their supply chain performance accordingly.

  • Labour Standards,
  • Health & Safety,
  • Environment and
  • Business Integrity

 

SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit)

The tool used by Sedex is named SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit). It incorporates 3 elements:

  • A best practice guidance on conducting ethical trade audits,
  • An audit report format and
  • A corrective action plan format

SMETA, Sedex’s proprietary audit methodology, is one of the most widely used social audit procedures in the world. It provides a globally-recognized way to assess responsible supply chain activities, including labour rights, health & safety, the environment and business ethics.

Benefits of SEDEX Certification for your company

SMETA is designed to benefit retailers and consumer brands and their suppliers, reducing duplication of effort in ethical trade auditing. Companies who are not members of Sedex are able and encouraged to use SMETA as well.

Sedex is a comprehensive platform that enables the effective management of complex global supply chains, leading to real business benefits for your organisation.

  • Improve your reputation

Demonstrate to stakeholders and customers that you are committed to driving improvements in your supply chain.

  • Gain competitive advantage

Many customers see Sedex as an important part of their responsible sourcing practices and companies increasingly view Sedex membership as a condition of supply.

  • Reduce risk

The reports available on Sedex, and specifically the Sedex Risk Assessment tool, can help assess the likelihood of issues occurring in your supply chain. Improve supplier relationships

The Sedex model encourages increased supplier engagement, helping you to drive ethical and responsible improvements within your supply chain.

  • Save time and money

Sedex allows more time and resources to be spent on making improvements rather than on completing multiple audits and unnecessary paperwork.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a disciplined, statistical-based, data-driven approach and continuous improvement methodology for eliminating defects in a product, process or service. It was developed by Motorola and Bill Smith in the early 1980’s based on quality management fundamentals.

Six Sigma focuses on reducing process variation and enhancing process control, whereas lean drives out waste (non-value added processes and procedures) and promotes work standardization and flow. The distinction between Six Sigma and lean has blurred, with the term “lean Six Sigma” being used more and more often because process improvement requires aspects of both approaches to attain positive results.

Lean Six Sigma is a fact-based, data-driven philosophy of improvement that values defect prevention over defect detection. It drives customer satisfaction and bottom-line results by reducing variation, waste, and cycle time, while promoting the use of work standardization and flow, thereby creating a competitive advantage. It applies anywhere variation and waste exist, and every employee should be involved.

Interacting Lean and Six Sigma

Lean and Six Sigma both provide customers with the best possible quality, cost, delivery, and a newer attribute, nimbleness. There is a great deal of overlap between the two disciplines; however, they both approach their common purpose from slightly different angles:

  • Lean focuses on waste reduction, whereas Six Sigma emphasizes variationreduction.
  • Lean achieves its goals by using less technical tools such as kaizen, workplace organization, and visual controls, whereas Six Sigma tends to use statistical data analysisdesign of experiments, and hypothesis testing.

Often successful implementations begin with the lean approach, making the workplace as efficient and effective as possible, reducing waste, and using value stream maps to improve understanding and throughput. If process problems remain, more technical Six Sigma statistical tools may then be applied

 

 

 

 

Implementing Six Sigma

Six Sigma implementation strategies can vary significantly between organizations, depending on their distinct culture and strategic business goals. After deciding to implement Six Sigma, an organization has two basic options:

  1. Implement a Six Sigma program or initiative
  2. Create a Six Sigma infrastructure

 

The Six Sigma Process of the DMAIC method has five phases

 

 

 

The martial arts belt structure is used to recognize proficiency in training and application in Six Sigma, using the following colors:

  • White Belt – Overview, DMAIC, Define Phase
  • Yellow Belt – White Belt + process mapping, data collection and charting, assisting with a project
  • Green Belt – Yellow Belt + Project leader, core Six Sigma tools (Gage R&RSPCCapabilityANOVA, Regression), change management, hypothesis tests and more
  • Black Belt – Green Belt + advanced statistical analysis and experiments, change management, nonnormal distributions
  • Master Black Belt – Black Belt + Design for Six Sigma, more advanced statistical analysis, unique tools for specific industries and processes, working with leadership, implementing successful improvement programs

Formal certification is recognized at the Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt level based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Completion of training covering the body of knowledge
  • Years of work experience with the body of knowledge
  • Passing an exam covering the body of knowledge
  • Completion of one or more Six Sigma projects

Benefits of Six Sigma Certification for your company

  1. Reduce Operational Costs

(Inspection Costs, Rework Costs, Customer Complaints)

  1. Improve Efficiency or Timeliness
  2. Improve Accuracy, Controls, and Policy Compliance
  3. Improve Customer Service
  4. Improve Cash Flow
  5. Improve Regulatory Compliance
  6. Employee Motivation
  7. Strategic Planning
  8. Supply Chain Management

5S Lean

5S represents Japanese words that describe the steps of a workplace organization process. English equivalent words are shown in parenthesis

  1. Seiri (Sort)
  2. Seiton (Straighten, Set)
  3. Seiso (Shine, Sweep)
  4. Seiketsu (Standardize)
  5. Shitsuke (Sustain)

 

It is also referred to as 6S or 5S+S (adding Safety or Security) or even 7s (adding Spirit and Safety). Not to be confused with Six Sigma (often written as 6s).

1. Sort (Seiri) 

Distinguishing between necessary and unnecessary things, and getting rid of what you do not need

  • Remove items not used in area – outdated materials, broken equipment, redundant equipment, files on the computer, measurements which you no longer use
  • Ask staff to tag all items which they don’t think are needed – this improves understanding about need and use
  • Classify all equipment and materials by frequency of use to help decide if it should be removed – place ‘Red Tag’ on items to be removed
  • Establish a ‘holding area’ for items that are difficult to classify – hold item for allotted period to enable others not on 5S team to review

2.Straighten (Seiton) 

The practice of orderly storage so the right item can be picked efficiently (without waste) at the right time, easy to access for everyone. A place for everything and everything in its place.

  • Identify and allocate a place for all the materials needed for your work
  • Assign fixed places and fixed quantity
  • Make it compact
  • Place heavy objects at a height where they are easy to pick from
  • Decide how things should be put away, and obey those rules

3.Shine (Seiso) 

Create a clean worksite without garbage, dirt and dust, so problems can be more easily identified (leaks, spills, excess, damage, etc)

  • Identify root causes of dirtiness, and correct process
  • Only one work activity on a workspace at any given time
  • Keep tools and equipment clean and in top condition, ready for use at any time
  • Cleanliness should be a daily activity – at least 5 minutes per day
  • Use chart with signatures/initials shows that the action or review has taken place
  • Ensure proper lighting – it can be hard to see dirt and dust

4. Standardize (Seiketsu) 

Setting up standards for a neat, clean, workplace

  • Standardization of best practices through ‘visual management’
  • Make abnormalities visible to management
  • Keep each area consistent with one another
  • Standards make it easy to move workers into different areas
  • Create process of how to maintain the standard with defined roles and responsibilities
  • Make it easy for everyone to identify the state of normal or abnormal conditions – place photos on the walls, to provide visual reminder

5. Sustain (Shitsuke) 

Implementing behaviors and habits to maintain the established standards over the long term, and making the workplace organization the key to managing the process for success

  • Toughest phase is to Sustain – many fall short of this goal
  • Establish and maintain responsibilities – requires leader commitment to follow through
  • Every one sticks to the rules and makes it a habit
  • Participation of everyone in developing good habits and buy-in
  • Regular audits and reviews
  • Get to root cause of issues
  • Aim for higher 5S levels – continuous improvement

The other options to include with 5S are Safety, Security and Spirit.

Safety: Safety is often said that it is implied within 5S that everything should be done with safety as the number one priority, but to ensure that is the case, Safety is added as an additional S. It is particularly prominent in manufacturing, warehouses, heavy equipment, construction, healthcare and laboratory settings, and in other contexts where potentially dangerous equipment or substances may be involved, and less prominent in office settings.

Spirit: To ensure that the focus of 5S is to make it easier for the workers, Spirit is added to remind people that it should be fun, and that creativity is key to coming up with new ideas and better ways to implement 5S. Without engaged workers, the 5S approach will not last or be successful.

Benefits of 5S system for your company

Benefits to be derived from implementing a lean 5S program include:

  • Improved safety
  • Higher equipment availability
  • Lower defect rates
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased production agility and flexibility
  • Improved employee morale
  • Better asset utilization
  • Enhanced enterprise image to customers, suppliers, employees, and management

Product Certifications - SLS Certification

Product certification Scheme which is popularly known as the “SLS Marks Scheme”, is a scheme that gives a third party guarantee on quality of a product. This scheme enables the SLSI to grant permits to local as well as overseas manufacturers producing goods conforming to Sri Lanka Standards to mark the “SLS” mark on their products. Sri Lanka Standards Institution Act No.6 of 1984, and the regulations made there under empower the Sri Lanka Standards Institution to issue such permits to manufacturers.

The Product Certification Scheme is essentially voluntary in nature. However, SLS Mark has been made through the Directions issued under the Consumer Protection Act No. 1 of 1979 and Consumer Affairs Authority Act No. 9 of 2003. However this regulation remains unchanged.

The Certification Mark on a commodity or product signifies that the commodity or product is consistently manufactured in accordance with the relevant Sri Lanka Standard Specification and could be purchased with a reasonable assurance of quality. Compliance with the requirements of the specification is assured through regular monitoring of the quality assurance system through audits carried out by qualified Auditors of the Institution and product testing.

Benefits of SLS Standards for Your Products

  • SLS mark is a major marketing tool for the promotion of sales.
  • Differentiates products having the SLS mark from other products hence enhance competitiveness.
  • Definite advantage over manufacturing establishments who does not have the SLS mark
  • Reduce customer complaints
  • State sector will look for SLS marked products, thereby increase the market share
  • Image of the company will be improved, thereby improving the morale of workers
  • Productivity improvement
  • Since the standards incorporate customer and legal requirements, products will be more acceptable
  • Customer-Manufacturer-SLSI relationships enhance continuously
  • Foundation to obtain Overseas Certification Marks such as BSI, ISI etc.
  • Consumers can select products with a reasonable assurance of quality

 

 

Organic Certification

Organic agriculture is a sustainable form of agriculture, for both ecological and economic reasons. The development trend of Organic Agriculture in world during the past decade shows a positive growth. As an example USA and Canada are having rapidly growing Organic Food market of 20% and Europe is having 7.8% per year.

Sri Lanka, after its pioneering move in introducing organically certified tea to the world market, expanded this product range to non-traditional agricultural products such as:

  • Spices
  • Essential oils
  • Herbs
  • Herbal preparations
  • Desiccated coconut and other coconut-based products
  • Oil seeds
  • Pulses
  • Cashew
  • Rubber
  • Tropical fruit
  • Vegetables

One of the salient features of the majority of such non-traditional organic produce is the fact that they are being produced by small scale farmers in the provinces. There is substantial potential for the growth of this sector.

An organic label indicates to the consumers that the product has been produced using certain production methods. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) provides guidelines that have been widely adopted by countries for organic production and processing.

Organic agriculture provides a holistic approach to management systems that promotes agronomic, biological and mechanical methods as opposed to using synthetic materials for crop production and processing. Producers and manufacturers are allowed to make declarations in the market place based on standards and established procedures.

These systems facilitate market access, comparability and competition on equal terms. The use of accredited laboratories, inspection and certification bodies and mechanisms for verification of the authenticity of certifications and reports by regulatory bodies helps build trust and confidence among the trading partners.

The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) with internationally recognized mutual reorganization arrangements could provide the required assurance to facilitate international trade. Private inspectional certification bodies that had been accredited by international agencies preformed this function to facilitate international trade.

Benefits of Organic Certification for Your Products

  • Increased global demand and expansion of new markets.
  • Premium prices in the export market, leading to an increase in export earnings
  • Increase in farmers’ income by 30% – 100%, compared to the income from conventional produce.
  • Value addition through conversion of conventional products to organic products is more than 30% depending on the product.
  • Environmental friendly and beneficial for health
  • Compliance with the green concept with minimal impact on the environment.
  • Indigenous knowledge / management practices of the farmers to contribute towards sustainable agriculture
  • Reputation as a supplier of quality products.
  • Available supply of local resources to enhance production
  • Flexible operation (out-grower schemes, short- term employment)
  • Skilled labour
  • Compliance with International Standards.

Organic products and other ingredients are grown without or minimum the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones

Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products

In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants

  • Organic certification addresses a growing worldwide demand for organic food
  • It is intended to assure quality and prevent fraud

Major Organic Certifications Name

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Programm (NOP)/ USDA-NOP

 

The National Organic Program (NOP) develops the rules & regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. This process, referred to as rulemaking, involves input from the National Organic Standards Board (a Federal Advisory Committee made up of fifteen members of the public) and the public.

https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic

https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic

The National Organic Program (NOP) develops the rules & regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. This process, referred to as rulemaking, involves input from the National Organic Standards Board (a Federal Advisory Committee made up of fifteen members of the public) and the public.

https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic

https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic

  • EU Organic Certification

 

IFOAM EU is the unified voice of organic stakeholders towards the European decision makers, and the EU Institutions recognize IFOAM EU as the leading advocate for organic food and farming at EU level. Representing organic interests in connection with the European regulation for organic is one of our core activities.

Organic farming and production has been regulated at EU level since 1991. Today the European requirements for organic production are set by Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 defining the aims, objectives and principles of organic farming and production, and by two implementing regulations (No 889/2008 and No 1235/2008) detailing the organic production, labelling, control and import rules. All products labelled as organic and sold in the EU must be produced in accordance with these regulations.

http://www.eu-organic-food.eu/en/european-union-standards/

https://www.ifoam-eu.org/en/what-we-do/organic-regulations

  • Japanese Agricultural Organic Standard (JAS)

 

The JAS Standards for organic plants and organic processed foods of plant origin were established in 2000 on the basis with the Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods which were adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standards) are the Japanese national standards in the field of agricultural, forestry, fisheries and food industry. JAS is established by the Minister of agriculture, Forestry and fisheries.

https://www.maff.go.jp/e/policies/standard/specific/organic_JAS.html

  • Korean organic Regulation/Certification

    • Korean organic Regulation/Certification

    The competent authority is the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), which is responsible for the implementation of organic legislation as well as for the accreditation of the private certification bodies.

    Within MAFRA, the Korean National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service (NAQS) is responsible for the audit of the MAFRA-accredited certification bodies. NAQS also administers the organic import control procedures.

    The Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) enforces regulation for general food safety, including the Korean Food Code. Amongst many other things, the Code defines the criteria for designation of products as processed (which is relevant for the question which products are allowed be imported to Korea under organic Equivalence Agreements (EAs)).

    https://www.ccof.org/documents/korean-organic-logo-and-labeling-information

    Other Organic Certification 

    • Quality Assurance International (QAI) 
    • Nature’s International Certification Services (NICS)
    • SCS Global Certificate
    • International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements Certification (IFOAM)
    • The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Certification
    •  California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Certification

    Registration for Organic Product Sector 

     Registration of Exporters / Importers / Traders / Producers / Processors / Certification bodies / Inspection bodies and Laboratories of Organic Agricultural Products

    The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) has initiated actions to establish the National Organic Control Unit (NOCU) as per the regulations published under the section 29 of the Export Development Act No. 40 of 1979 in the extraordinary gazette no. 1870/71 dated July 11, 2014. As per the regulations, all Organic Exporters, Importers, Traders, Producers, Processors, Certification bodies, Inspection bodies and Laboratories are hereby requested to register with the NOCU to ensure the credibility of Organic Agricultural Products traded within Sri Lanka and exported to the international market

    NOCU – Export Development of SL Organic Regulations – English

    Gazette – Export Development of Organic Products Regulations – English
    Gazette – Export Development of Organic Products Regulations – Sinhala
    Gazette – Export Development of Organic Products Regulations – Tamil

    Organic Certification Agencies

    Organic regulations are formulated based on guidelines or basic standards provided by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Codex Alimentarius. Presently, there are eight international certification agencies operating in the country as external inspectors or/and certification bodies.

    The Sri Lanka Export Development Board is setting up an independent body to obtain the 3rd country registration in Europe. This controlling authority will govern the Organic Sector in the country and register Sri Lanka in the 3rd country list of the EU, reducing the cost of certification and facilitating Organic products to penetrate the EU member countries.

    This will also eliminate tariff barriers on organic agricultural products, and enable the exporters to be competitive in catering to the international markets and fetch a premium price.

    Some Certification agencies such as Control Union – formerly known as SKAL International (Netherlands) and IMO (Switzerland) have local inspectors for carrying out inspection in Sri Lanka and also in the region. Presently, there are seven international certification agencies operating in the country, as external inspection or/and certification bodies as listed below

    • Control Union – Sri Lanka 
    • Mayacert, Sri Lanka
    • Institute for Market Ecology – IMO, Switzerland
    • NASAA, Australia
    • Naturland, Germany
    • EcoCert, Germany
    • Demeter and BioSuisse, Switzerland
    • Organic Farmers and Growers Ltd, United Kingdom
    • Ind-Expo for SL Organic, Sri Lanka

Kosher Certification

kosher certification agency is an organization that grants a certificate to ingredients, packaged foods, beverages, and certain materials, as well as food-service providers and facilities in which kosher food is prepared or served. 

  • Kosher certification is a separate international quality standard which is increasingly established in the food ingredients and retail sector
  • Kosher certification can help generate additional sales revenue by providing an avenue to gain access to new markets and customers
  • Kosher products require kosher certified ingredients
  • Ingredient buyers specify kosher knowing that their supplier’s manufacturing process has been independently audited
  • This gives an extra level of comfort
  • The client to supply a list of all ingredients used in its food product and machinery (such as cleaning agents), which the certification agency will research and trace back to their sources and suppliers to verify their kosher status. 
  • If the client later deviates from this list and brings other ingredients into its facility, the agency has the right to demand changes or terminate the contract
  • If non-kosher food is being produced in the same plant (or if meat and dairy products are both being produced), the two systems must remain completely separate, including the avoidance of heat transfer by boilers servicing the two production lines. 
  • If non-kosher food is being produced on the same machinery as kosher food, albeit in separate runs, all equipment and utensils must be intensively cleaned and then treated with boiling water before being used for the kosher run
  • The client must also agree to specific documentation and record-keeping systems in order to track raw ingredients coming in and processed foods going out, as well as production schedules.
  • Manufactures ensure that kosher and non-kosher production runs are kept completely separate. He must be familiar with all ingredients and the way they are produced to ensure kosher status.
  • In addition to the symbol, many agencies indicate whether the product is dairy (“D”), meaty (“Meat”), pareve (“Pareve”), or kosher for Passover (“P”). 

 

Benefits of Kosher certification for your Products 

  • The competitive edge. Companies can ill afford to allow their competitors a significant marketing advantage. This dynamic is so powerful that many areas such as baking and snack foods have extremely high concentrations of kosher supervision
  • The Domino effect. As more companies become kosher, the suppliers of raw materials must become kosher as well. Consider the following scenario. A large pastry manufacturer, which uses hundreds of different ingredients, applies for kosher supervision. Ten suppliers lack adequate kosher supervision. The pastry company gives notice – either go kosher or we can no longer use you as a supplier. A domino effect has been set into motion. Each time another manufacturer becomes kosher, the demand for additional kosher supervision is created and the kosher food market is expanded.
  • Private labels. Private labeling is a big business, and manufacturers fiercely compete for the private label trade. When a private label company chooses a manufacturer, the availability of kosher certification plays a significant role in the decision making process. Even if the kosher logo will provide only a slight marketing advantage, it may be enough of a factor to tip the scales in favor of the kosher manufacturer. 
  • The shelf space battle. Manufacturers battle to have their products sold in stores and supermarkets. Not only is it critical to get the product on the shelf, but also the amount of allotted shelf space and the location of that space is of the utmost importance. 

ISO/IEC 17025 (The Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories)

Ilac – MRA (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, Mutual Recognition Arrangement)

ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world. It also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries. Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.

Why this standard is important

ISO 17025 accredited laboratories have demonstrated that they are technically proficient and able to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data. In most major countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which most labs must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent. In many cases, suppliers and regulatory authorities will not accept test or calibration results from a lab that is not accredited.

Key requirements

The two main sections in ISO/IEC 17025 are Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. Management requirements are primarily related to the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory. Technical requirements include factors that determine the correctness and reliability of the tests and calibrations performed in laboratory.

Laboratories are required to plan and implement actions to address risks and opportunities. Addressing both risks and opportunities establishes a basis for increasing the effectiveness of the management system, achieving improved results and preventing negative effects. The laboratory is responsible for deciding which risks and opportunities need to be addressed.

Compliance with regulatory and safety requirements (such as OSHA) on the operation of laboratories is not covered by ISO/IEC 17025.

Third party auditing (assessment) of the laboratory is normally carried out by the national organization responsible for accreditation. Laboratories are therefore accredited under ISO/IEC 17025, rather than certified or registered. Accreditation is a voluntary, third party-reviewed process. As part of accreditation, a laboratory’s quality management system is thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis to ensure continued technical competence and compliance with ISO/IEC 17025. Laboratory accreditation can only be granted by an accreditation body, or AB. In Sri Lanka, assessment is carried out by SLAB (Sri Lanka Accreditation Board).

SLAB publishes a directory of their accredited laboratories, which includes the laboratories’ contact details plus information on their testing capabilities.

SLAB uses the ISO 17025:2017 standard for:

  • Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards
  • Technical competence of staff
  • Maintenance of test equipment
  • Quality assurance of test and calibration data
  • Validity and appropriateness of test methods
  • Appropriate handling and transportation of test items
  • Quality of testing environment and sampling

To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-assessed to check that they are maintaining their standard of technical expertise. These laboratories are also required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an ongoing demonstration of their competence.

A prerequisite for a laboratory to become accredited is to have a documented quality management system. The usual contents of the quality manual follow the outline of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

Benefits of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for your company

  1. By adopting or implementing the ISO/IEC 17025 standard requirements and achieving accreditation, a laboratory will gain national and international recognition, thereby making it easier for customers to readily identify and select reliable laboratories; 
  2. By choosing an accredited laboratory, clients will experience reduction in the costs of re-testing their products;
  3. By complying with the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard, the laboratory will have a better control over its activities;
  4. When performing testing/calibration services, the laboratory managers/technicians will be able to access better and updated technologies, which will increase the confidence in generating valid results; 
  5. An accredited laboratory will experience an increase in revenues and profits due to the laboratory’s proficient capability to provide reliable and technically valid results; 
  6. The laboratory will ensure the validity of standard, non-standard and laboratory developed test methods which impact the provision of reliable data to their clients. 




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