MAF Agency Achieves International Quality Accreditation

4 April 2001

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's Verification Agency (MAF VA) has been formally accredited to the ISO 17020 Quality Standard. The Agency's General Manager, Jos Goebbels believes achieving this accreditation is a world first for a government verification service.

MAF VA is responsible for food safety assurance, adding value to New Zealand's export processing industries by ensuring the integrity of food safety systems.

The demanding ISO 17020 Quality Standard differs from a "normal" quality standard, in that it focuses on individual staff competencies as well as the integrity of organisational systems. Emphasis is placed on systems such as training, competency and verification.

The international ISO 17020 standard is especially relevant to MAF VA given its involvement in critical inspection and certification activity. MAF sees its Verification Agency's accreditation as part of an on-going opportunity to further enhance the quality of its services at an individual as well as an organisational level.

MAF VA provides certification for the export based processing sectors (meat, game, seafood, cold storage, and animal by-products).

For more information please contact:

Jos Goebbels, General Manager, MAF Verification Agency, telephone (04) 498 9803.

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