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New compost certification service marks milestone

Compost certification under an updated scheme has reached a milestone with the issuing of the first certificates.

Organic Farmers & Growers Ltd (OF&G), one of two bodies newly appointed by the Composting Association (CA) to assess composters under the updated scheme, has announced the successful completion of its first inspection and certification cycles for the PAS 100 standard and Quality Compost Protocol (QCP).

OF&G was one of two organisations awarded a contract to operate the updated scheme on behalf of the CA and has now issued the first three certificates completed under the new arrangements. The CA has also made arrangements with the two certification bodies to operate it's PAS 100 scheme, for which demand remains strong in Scotland where certification to PAS 100 – but not the QCP – is a key 'product' criterion.

OF&G Chief Executive, Richard Jacobs, said: “We're very proud to have achieved this milestone and it's a credit to our excellent team that it has been done with OF&Gs' usual practicality and efficiency. I'm confident that the handover of this process from the CA to OF&G has been seamless for applicants and composters with PAS 100 certification and we look forward to building on that in the future.”

Under the new arrangements OF&G is in the process of taking on half of the composters who had already joined the Composting Association's scheme by June 2007, while opening the updated certification service to new composting applicants.

Certification to PAS 100 and the Quality Compost Protocol means that the composter has established an effective management system for producing quality compost and can be label it as a product and not a waste. Removal of waste regulatory controls upon the storage and use of composts is facilitating the marketing and competitiveness of composts, encouraging further market development. and composts

Organic Farmers & Growers has worked in certification since 1992, being the first body approved by the government to inspect and certify organic food and farming. It is now a leader in that role in the UK and has recently been extending its certification expertise into other areas such as the recovery and use of secondary resources.

Richard Jacobs added: “Composting, along with other areas of licensing for renewable and sustainable processes and technology, are a natural fit with our many successful years of organic certification and our staff have embraced this wholeheartedly because they believe very strongly in the work they do.”

Jeremy Jacobs, the Composting Association's Acting Chief Executive, said “Across the UK, many producers recognize that compost quality, 'product' status and marketing plans are important. In England and Wales five producers have achieved PAS 100 and QCP certification so far, and producers operating a further 113 processes are working towards this. Producers operating 53 composting processes in the UK have led the way by achieving PAS 100 certification before the new scheme was introduced. This industry is dynamic as well as diverse, and the certification bodies now involved provide opportunity for 'product' supply to step up another gear.”

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