Cotton South Africa (Cotton SA) has become the first laboratory to be certified under the ICA Bremen ‘International Laboratory Certification Scheme’.
Designed to raise the bar in the quality testing arena, the aim of the scheme is to establish an approved list of laboratories worldwide that meet a standard level of quality assurance.
On receiving the news, Gert Klindt, Quality Control Manager at Cotton SA said: “The Quality Control Division of Cotton South Africa is proud and honoured to become the first ICA Bremen certified laboratory. With our long standing history of classing and HVI fibre testing experience, we will endeavour to uphold the proud standard level of quality assurance within the international cotton environment as well as the aims and contract sanctity values of ICA Bremen.”
Following Cotton SA’s certification, Axel Drieling of the Bremen Fibre Institute (FIBRE), said: “Cotton SA is very experienced in cotton classing and testing, being not only responsible for the country’s cotton production, but also testing for other countries in the region. Its certification is of great significance, proving the laboratory is taking the necessary actions to retain and improve its performance.”
ICA Bremen has developed the scheme based on our own laboratory experience, as well as the good practices of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), CSITC (Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and Axel believes it will bring significant benefits to the cotton trade: “For a laboratory, certification represents credibility and competence plus recognition and competitive advantage. For the global cotton community, the scheme gives the end user confidence in choosing a certified laboratory, as well as offering them more choice.”
Open to any international cotton testing laboratory, participating laboratories have to meet a level of quality assurance based on eight specific criteria, including conditioning, maintenance, calibration and testing procedures.
Eleven laboratories are currently in the process of assessment. Once certified, they will become a ‘laboratory of choice’ to resolve quality disputes in line with the ICA Bylaws & Rules, as well as providing a service to the cotton industry.