World Accreditation Day, June 9-Supporting safe food and clean drinking water


15-June-2012

Food safety management systems are used by organisations involved in all aspects of the food and water supply chain, to demonstrate its ability to control safety hazards until the point of consumption. Routine hygiene audits are carried out by accredited inspection bodies.

There are also an increasing number of accredited schemes that relate to fair trade, organic food, the treatment of animals, and impact on the environment.

Accreditation bodies that are evaluated as competent, sign arrangements that support the acceptance of accredited results and certificates across national borders. These arrangements, which are managed by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), remove the need for additional tests, checks or certification at each country of entry. They also provide Regulators with an internationally recognised stamp of approval to demonstrate that a supplier is complying with agreed standards.

The Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS) is established in terms of Article 17 (3) (b) of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Annex to the SADC Protocol on trade as the accreditation body for those member countries of SADC who do not have a national accreditation body or whose national accreditation bodies provide only a limited scope of accreditation. Within the SADC region only South Africa and Mauritius have their own national accreditation body. The remaining 13 countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe do not have national accreditation bodies hence serviced by SADCAS.

SADCAS’ mission is to provide credible, cost effective, accreditation services for SADC member states aimed at supporting trade, enhance the protection of consumers and the environment and improve the competitiveness of SADC products and services in both the voluntary and regulatory areas. SADCAS provides accreditation services and training on accreditation associated activities. SADCAS offers accreditation programmes for calibration/testing /medical laboratories, and certification and inspection bodies.

To commemorate 2012 World Accreditation Day a number of activities have been lined up in various SADC countries which include conferences, workshops, television and radio interviews, among others. This contribution from SBS is also part of efforts to raise awareness on how accreditation supports the availability of safe food and clean drinking water.

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