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Natrue and QAI work towards cross-border recognition of organic standards

By Guy Montague-Jones , 24-Feb-2009
Last updated on 24-Feb-2009 at 13:26 GMT

Natrue is working on a mutual recognition agreement with Quality Assurance International (QAI) that the certifier hails as a step towards international harmonisation.

The agreement will mean that products complying with either the Natrue label or the NSF ‘Made with Organic’ standard will be recognised by the other certification body.

So a cosmetics firm manufacturing products certified by Natrue in Europe will not have to go through the full certification process when it enters the US market. Instead Natrue will submit the relevant data to the QAI for a nominal fee and the products will automatically gain NSF certification.

Potential benefits of agreement

By consolidating two certification processes into one, Natrue general secretary Julie Tyrrell said the initiative would cut costs and save time for manufacturers.

To make the mutual recognition agreement a reality, Natrue and QAI are developing a guidance document identifying the differences between the two standards and explaining how manufacturers can demonstrate compliance with both.

Tyrrell said the agreement was a concrete step from international discussions towards achieving Natrue’s goal of ‘one world, one label’.

Widening interest in Natrue standard

The Natrue certification system was launched in September last year and so far 120 products have been certified and several hundred other products are in the process of being certified.

Tyrrell said: “I’ve lost count of the new inquiries to certify. The response is increasingly global with more and more requests coming from outside Europe.”

Meanwhile, the NSF ‘Made with Organic’ standard was adopted as an American National Standard last week making it the only American National Standard for 'made with organic' cosmetics in the US.

NSF’s Greta Houlahan told CosmeticsDesign.com that the news was a “step in the right direction" in terms of harmonisation in the US.

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