The USDA Quality Assurance Laboratory (USDA) has become the latest laboratory to be certified under the ICA Bremen ‘International Laboratory Certification Scheme’. ICA Bremen auditor, Robert Jiang said; “We are pleased to see that the Quality Assurance Laboratory of USDA has joined the certified club of laboratories. USDA has provided continuous input and support to the certification programme right from the very beginning. We are confident that through the effort of all sides, the certification programme will continue to maintain its standard for the benefit of the whole cotton industry.” USDA joins eight other laboratories to become certified under the scheme, which has the aim of establishing an approved list of laboratories worldwide that meet a standard level of quality assurance. ICA Bremen has developed the scheme based on ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and CSITC (Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton), as well as building on the good practices of USDA and its own laboratory experience.
Open to any international cotton testing laboratory, participating laboratories must meet a level of quality assurance based on specific criteria in eight modules, including conditioning, maintenance, calibration and testing procedures.
Twelve other 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 and the Bremen Cotton Exchange Rules, as well as providing a service to the cotton industry.