It is the 14th Anniversary of the International Compost Awareness Week, which is celebrated all over the World in the first full week of May.
Certification Europe takes part in the celebrations in Ireland by promoting certification of compost facilities to the Irish national Compost Quality Assurance Scheme (CQAS 441:2011).
CQAS is a quality assurance system which certifies compost facility processes, and it is based on the Irish Standard I.S. 441 National Compost Quality standard.
Certified compost facilities can display the CQAS Mark. This badge gives confidence to consumers that compost matches the highest Irish standard, and it is verified by a National third party certification body, Certification Europe.
CQAS 441 Compost Quality Assurance Scheme provides multiple benefits:
- It suggests confidence and transparency, and adds value to product and the organisation.
- The market and the final consumer increase their trust in certified products and choose quality assured compost.
- Certified compost producers can be at the forefront in the development of new markets for quality assured compost and get publicity in Ireland and at international level.
With regard to the access to new markets, the April 2013 meeting of the Standards Group of the Organic Forum agreed that composting facilities that are certified to CQAS may apply to be assessed by organic certifying bodies to sell compost as “suitable for use in organic growing”.
The Organic Forum, on which the main organic farming sector stakeholders are represented, makes decisions affecting organic farming in Ireland. Their welcomed decision opens the doors to the organic growing sector, and should displace imported compost products. Assessment is not automatically successful for CQAS certified compost facilities applying to the scheme though, and measures additional to those required by the Quality Scheme are in place.
We hope to see the first “Irish quality compost suitable for use in organic growing” on the market during 2013. The organic growing sector will then avail of the range of environmental benefits associated with use of quality recycled compost products.
For more information on this scheme, please contact rx3 (rethink, recycle, remake).
To request further information on certification to the CQAS 441 National Compost Quality Assurance Scheme, please contact Andrew Cartwright at Certification Europe.
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry that showcases composting and compost products.
Organised by the US Composting Council, for the past 13 years Compost Awareness Week has served the important role of broadening understanding of compost use and production to the attention of the public, businesses and other stakeholders all over the World, though a network of local composting advocates.
ICAW main advocate in Ireland is Cré, the Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland, which organises many events at national level, in collaboration with StopFoodWaste and WRAP Northern Ireland.