Ecocert acquires US organic certification agency ICO

Transaction key to developing Ecocert’s North American business

French environmental certification body Ecocert has announced the recent acquisition of Indiana Certified Organic (ICO), an organic certification agency operating across the US and US Virgin Islands. The transaction is said to be key in Ecocert’s strategy in developing its North American business plan with well established local partners in the US. It brings over 300 additional clients to the group and enhances Ecocert’s position in the US with a local presence, network and team.

ICO began offering organic certification in 1995, four years after the formation of Ecocert, and was one of the first bodies to be accredited by the US National Organic Program. It is also ISO Guide 65 and CAEQ accredited. It offers inspection services through its national network and certification for crops, wild crops, livestock, handlers and processors.

Discussions between the two bodies began in October 2009 and an agreement converting 100% ownership of ICO to Ecocert took place on 28 January 2011.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ecocert ceo William Vidal said: “ICO was the perfect match to develop our activities in the US, spread our values and more generally promote the organic world. We are proud to have ICO within the Ecocert Group. It will strengthen our commitment to the organic sector.”

Former ICO ceo Cecilia Bowman added: “Ecocert was a natural choice as we share the same values and commitment to organic farmers and handlers.”