Ecocert acquires organic certification body in the US

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Product certification

France-based Ecocert has recently acquired Indiana Certified Organic (ICO), a certification body which operates in the US.

According to Ecocert, this transaction is key to its strategy in developing its North American business plan with well-established local partners in the USA.

Ecocert CEO William Vidal commented, “ICO was the perfect match to develop our activities in the US, spread our values, and more generally promote the organic world. It will strengthen our commitment to the organic sector​”.

Increased global reach

According to Ecocert, this acquisition will provide it with increased global reach in terms of a wider client base as ICO brings more than 300 additional clients and an established position in the US market with local presence, brand, network and team.

Ecocert is a board member of the European organic and natural standards initiative Cosmos.

Despite no direct impact on Cosmos, this acquisition will enable Cosmos audits to be realised by ICO, opening up the US market to the certification body, driving promotion of the standard.

The Cosmos standard is a pan-European initiative that does not currently extend its reach to the wider global market, which has been an issue within the industry for some time now due to conflicting and rival certification bodies operating.

Operating as subsidiary

Discussions between Ecocert and ICO started in 2009 with a formal process initiated in 2010. This year an agreement converted 100 percent of the ownership of ICO.

A company spokesperson for Ecocert commented, “For the time being, ICO will continue to be run as before but will benefit straight away from​ [the company’s] experience and expertise​”, thus operating as an American subsidiary of the French company.

Ecocert was accredited to ISO Guide 65 by internationally recognized governmental authorities, which according to the company, ensures complete confidentiality, independence, impartiality, and competence in the delivery of its services.

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