Assurance Code Newsletter Oct 2012

It has taken 21 months following the ISEAL Code Development procedures to arrive at the completed Version 1. I am happy to report that the ISEAL Board of Directors have given their approval for Version 1 of the Assurance Code and this will be my last newsletter for this project.

I'd like to particularly thank the Assurance Code Committee members for their expertise and persistence. At ISEAL we are fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of a wide and diverse group of persons in the sustainability standards realm -- and we don't even pay them!

Assurance Code Committee Members

  • Maylynn Nunn - Marine Stewardship Council
  • Guntars Laguns - Accreditation Services International
  • Laura Terrall - Rainforest Alliance (Smartwood)
  • Jantien Meijer - FloCert
  • Ruth Nyagah - AfriCert
  • Philipp Schukat - GIZ
  • Neil Judd - Proforest
  • Julie Anderson - Starbucks
  • Peter Feilberg - Nepcon
  • Rochelle Zaid - Social Accountability Accreditation Service
  • David Gould - Consultant
  • Malcolm Fox - Equitable Origin
  • Stéphanie Paquin - Union for Ethical Biotrade
  • Angela Tejada Chavez - UTZ Certified
  • Thanhvan Coa - Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C)
  • Joelle Katto-Andrighetto - IFOAM
  • Debbie Evans - Lloyds Register

The Committee members were gracious and generous throughout the project; even when discussions were difficult and compromise was necessary. I am especially pleased that the committee approved a version that recognises different approaches to assurance. This allows ISEAL and member organisations to explore new and innovative options for assurance. I have already heard from a few ISEAL members that they are now thinking "outside the box" about assurance and considering radically different ideas for their assurance programmes.

I'd like to publicly thank Alison Loconto, who initially came to us to ask if she could research the Code development process. Alison's participation ended up being of great benefit to the process. Not only did she provide me with excellent notes from the meetings, but she remained an important colleague to consult with on any aspect: from stakeholder consultation to accreditation.

Finally I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the Assurance Code process. You can view the comments and responses from both consultations on the Assurance Code webage. Thanks to members of the Assurance Code list for their patience and interest -- I'll be pulling down the Assurance Code listserv now.

Please take a few minutes to read the Assurance Code and see why I am so excited about this new opportunity to expand the work of the sustainability standards movement.