Industry Group Launches Product Safety Initiative
In an announcement first made this morning on the ASI Internet Radio Tuesday Morning Show (www.asicentral.com/radio), a group of 15 suppliers and one large distributor (BDA, asi/137616) have formed the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). The independent organization will be focused on elevating the standards in the industry for providing safe and socially-compliant products. Suppliers that become members of the QCA will have to go through a certification process that examines their internal practices in areas such as product safety, quality assurance, social compliance, and supply chain security.
For now, the group is intent on getting the first 15 companies certified by June 30. The organization is taking "interest applications" from prospective members, but at this point is not accepting new members outside of the original 15 (for the full list of founding members, go to www.qcalliance.org). "The QCA Seal of Approval will become the gold standard for the industry – a symbol of quality, safety and trust," says Denise Fenton, the executive director of the organization who had previously been the head of Wal-Mart's product safety initiative. "QCA will aggressively promote this quality accreditation within the marketplace."
Jay Deutsch, CEO of BDA and one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the QCA, says that this organization is needed to address any safety concerns that ad specialty clients have. "We have to be able to prove that the products weprovide are safe and adhere to new laws and regulations," he said on a conference call this morning. "This group will also pay careful attention to ensuring eco-friendly and socially-acceptable practices, which are increasingly important to the world's top brands."
QCA accreditation is structured as a tiered program. Achieving the highest level of accreditation requires a self-evaluation followed by an independent third-party audit. The certification process examines member companies' internal practices in five areas, including product safety, quality assurance, social compliance, supply chain security and environmental stewardship. "This organization is truly a catalyst in addressing ongoing product safety concerns that plague the promotional products industry," said David Nicholson, president of Leed's (asi/66887). "Through QCA's efforts, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and consumers will be able to trust the bearers of the QCA Seal of Approval to deliver the highest level of safe, quality merchandise."
The following companies have expressed their support for the QCA initiative: Avaline (asi/37590), Barton Nelson (asi/38670), BDA, Broder Bros. (asi/42090), Dard (asi/48500), Fanda (asi/53616), Gemline (asi/56070), Gordon Industries (asi/57800), Leed's, Litehouse Custom Printing (asi/67755), Logomark (asi/67866), MMI (asi/68288), Prime Line (asi/79530), Sweda (asi/90305), and Williams Industries/Next Products (asi/73871).