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David Crucefix appointed co-convener of the APAC Product Certification working group

David Crucefix, IOAS Executive Director, attended the annual meetings of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) on June 17-21, 2019 which took place in Singapore. APAC is a regional member of the International Accreditation Forum and IOAS is a full MRA signatory at both APAC and IAF level. APAC, after a merger of the previous laboratory accreditation group (APLAC) and the certification regional group (PAC), is now the largest IAF regional group and brings together ABs to manage their mutual recognition arrangement and discuss and develop common interpretations of accreditation in many sectors. David was appointed co-convener of the Product Certification working group under which organic certification sits.

Opening meeting of the inaugural APAC annual meetings in Singapore’

Ken Commins moves on from IOAS to "Alliance for Integrity"

Ken Commins, essentially the founder of IOAS, officially retired as Executive Director (Business) as of April 30, 2019 and David Crucefix took over as sole ED of the IOAS. Ken’s unstoppable passion for the integrity of organic production is well known throughout the organic movement and although retiring from the IOAS he has committed to supporting the new IOAS initiative of the Alliance for Organic Integrity. More information on the Alliance can be found below.


New IOAS Office Assistant

We are pleased to announce our new Office assistant Jessica Lambert will be starting with us from July 3rd. Jessica is based in Ontario, Canada and undertakes the general day to day operating duties of the IOAS Office Administrator, in addition to maintaining financial records and handling bookkeeping, payment of invoices and personnel payroll. Jessica is the person who will be the main contact for Clients’ financial queries  and will ensure IOAS invoices and payments are handled quickly and effectively. To contact Jessica please email lambert@ioas.org.

Updated IOAS General Operating Manual and the GlobalGAP Operating manual available on IOAS website

As a result of continuously improving our quality system,  IOAS has released a new version of these Operating Manuals.

To see this and other IOAS policies and procedures please visit our Document and Client Area within our Information Center on the IOAS website.

Alliance for Organic Integrity first meeting May 2019

The Board of the Alliance for Organic Integrity had their first face to face meeting in the United Kingdom on May 24-26, 2019.
The Alliance is recently legally incorporated in the USA and is in the process of seeking charitable status. A sister organization to the IOAS, it is focused on building and sharing tools, strategies and training to better promote and protect organic integrity across organic platforms through partnerships and building alliances with other organic stakeholder leaders around the world. It is envisaged that the development of the Alliance will expedite solving the many challenges that the organic sector faces due to our rapid and continued growth and success. The IOAS has donated seed funding to the Alliance which intends to seek matching funds from the trade, governments and international donors to make its work plans a reality. The current Board is initially constituted by people with an IOAS background but the Alliance is seeking 3 (out of 5) Board members from other entities that share the mission of protecting organic integrity and would like to contribute and guide the organisation and agenda forward. If you would like to hear more about the Alliance, please contact Ken Commins at commins@ioas.org

Textile Exchange Standards Documents update May 2019

The revised TE GRS Implementation Manual 4.1 – new interpretations valid for all GRS audits from August 1, 2019 is available to download here. IOAS surveillance will be conducted against the new version from August.

A tracked changes version of the GRS Implementation Manual is  available here, showing changes from V4.0 to V4.1.

Organic imports in the EU, A first analysis – year 2018

The EU have published a brief analysing the main features of the imports of organic products into the EU from third countries both in terms of products and origin for the year 2018.

Findings include;

Imports of commodities dominate the scene (57% was in the form of commodities and 35% as other primary products),

Within the product classes, “tropical fruit, fresh or dried, nuts and spices” is the dominant imported category (24%) followed by cereals that at aggregate level represent 22% of the total imports, oil cakes (11%), fruit and vegetables (9%) and oilseeds (6%),

In volume terms, China is the biggest supplier of organic agri-food products to the EU,  followed by Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine and Turkey.

The full report is available here.

Transparency and sustainability of EU scientific assessment of food safety: General Food Law adopted

The Council have passed a review of the “General Food Law regulation” that has its roots in the European Citizens’ Initiative on glyphosate. The new regulation, that also amends eight legislative acts dealing with specific food chain sectors, will be published on the Official Journal of the European Union, but will mostly apply as of 2021.

The governance of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will be strengthened, with greater involvement of member states in its management board and scientific information supporting risk assessment in the food chain, and communication on food safety will be more transparent and easier to access. Under the new rules studies and information supporting a request for a scientific output by EFSA are to be made public automatically when an application by a food business operator is validated or found admissible. Confidential information will be protected in duly justified circumstances and confidentiality requests will be assessed by EFSA.

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