What factors and influences lead a company to seek international certification?
Cristina Robledo Ardila, Professor of International Business at the University Eafit in Colombia, lists these elements:
- Competition (if our competitors are certified, they have an advantage);
- Clients (certification involves not only an attractive credential in itself, but its achievement means that the organization has standardized and formalized its procedures for delivering a better end product);
- The end consumer (certificated products and / or services are more attractive and may influence purchase intent, even to the point that consumers are willing to pay more);
- The shareholders (a certified organization can gain more market value, which promotes shareholders' investment);
- The community (different groups may react to the impact of business activities carried out, either positively or negatively).
Among the types of international standards that are relevant today, Robledo mentions several: III (Investors in People), BASC (Business Alliance for Secure Commerce); SA 8000 - Social Accountability, 18001 and OHSAS 18002 - Health and Safety Assessment Occupational Series, and others.
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Ecocert Greenlife, a certification body for sustainable development, is the first company to establish guidelines for certification for spa facilities.
A press release from the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office reads:
Ecocert Greenlife, certification body for sustainable development, is the first company to set guidelines for the certification of spa facilities.
AIES, the International Airport of El Salvador, earned the certification of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
It is the first Central American airport to receive this certification; the airports of Panama and Nicaragua are currently in the process of getting it.
ETEA foundation will train growers in coffee certification and traceability techniques.
Vicente Gonzalez, director of the foundation, remarked that if the proposal is approved, the training programs will be focused on organic production.
“These programs will help small growers in exporting to the European market… No investment figures have been made available yet, but it is known that the Spanish entity will open an office in the country”, reported Prensa.com.
Tougher competition makes it a requisite to have internationally certified processes and production.
However, certification costs are considerable, and vary depending on the subject, the time required for implementation, and the level of certification.
A local certification alternative for Honduran companies is Quara Group: "established little more than a year ago, it assists the local entrepreneur in getting to know and implement standards in their organizations, which can be certified and recognized by ISO, the International Standards Organization", reported newspaper Laprensahn.com.