IOAS' suspension of CU India demonstrates the rigour of GOTS system of checks and balances
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is committed to protecting the integrity of its label. GOTS has a strict system of checks and balances to identify and prevent non-conformity with the Standard.
All participants in the GOTS system, from the smallest certified company to the largest Certification Body (CB), must permanently adhere to the compulsory requirements of GOTS. If not, penalties are imposed, up to, in rare cases, exclusion from the GOTS system.
On March 3, IOAS, an independent third-party Accreditation Body, following due process, suspended the accreditation of Control Union (India) from GOTS certification as a result of failure to comply with applicable requirements of GOTS and management of non-conformities identified from complaints. (Also affected are all scopes of: ISO/IEC 17065 and Textile Exchange.)
The approach of IOAS is fundamental to the holistic implementation of GOTS and ensures that all measures are taken to prevent non-conformities at every level.
CU India has been invited to take corrective actions until June 7th, 2023 to enable the suspensions to be lifted. Until then, CU India is prohibited from accepting new applications, no certificates may be issued to new applications, and scope additions may not be issued to existing operators. Additionally, CU India is not permitted to issue Transaction Certificates (TCs). CU India however is permitted to renew existing Scope Certificates and Letters of Approval and TCs that were issued by Control Union India prior to their suspension remain valid unless specifically withdrawn by Control Union themselves.
In a letter addressed to their certified entities, CU India stated that they “aim to meet the IOAS requirements by March 14th, 2023 and anticipate receiving a priority review from IOAS to lift the suspension.”
While we regret the inconvenience for the certified entities affected, this case proves that the strict system of checks and balances that GOTS implements works efficiently. To mitigate potential value chain disruptions, GOTS has the following in place to assist affected companies:
- CU India is required to inform their clients of their suspension and guide them through any disruptions that this may cause.
- Aside from CU India, there are currently eight other GOTS-approved Certification Bodies operating in India, ensuring that market demand can be met. A full list of approved CBs can be found on the GOTS website.
- Should a certified entity want to migrate to a different Certification Body, they should refer to the relevant GOTS policy. This policy outlines the guidelines and procedures for transferring certification from one certification body to another.
As an independent, self-financed non-profit, GOTS remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the Standard's integrity for all stakeholders.