June 10, 2003
Question written on 10/06/2003
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department uses bodies other than the United Kingdom Accreditation Service for the accreditation of certification bodies operating in the organic food sector.
Answered by Michael Meacher
Currently the approval of organic certification bodies for the purposes of Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91 is carried out by the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS) in liaison with the Department. Consequent on the abolition of UKROFS in July 2003 new arrangements for approving the organic certification bodies are being put in place. These arrangements will involve UKAS, as the UK’s official provider of accreditation services, in assessing the bodies and advising Government on their compliance with requirements in the Council Regulation. UKAS is considering the scope for collaboration with other bodies who are involved in assessments against organic standards.