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CHSA issues 'cease and desist' notice to company claiming Accredited status
The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association has issued a 'cease and desist' notice to a Turkish manufacturer of plastic sacks claiming CHSA Accredited status.
"Our Accreditation Schemes are a stamp of quality," explains CHSA chair, Lorcan Mekitarian. "We will always act to protect their integrity so buyers and users of cleaning & hygiene products can trust the mark. Our standards, your guarantee."
"Our advice to buyers is to look first for the Accreditation Scheme logo to guarantee quality. If there is any uncertainty about the legitimacy of the manufacturer's or distributor's claim, check our website. It carries a full list of members. If they are not listed on our website, they are not Accredited by the CHSA."
The Turkish manufacturer provided the UK distributor with a certificate incorporating the CHSA logo which gave the impression they were Accredited to produce sacks to the standard. The inspector put the sacks through the CHSA's standard audit process and found them substandard. Also, what was written on the box was definitely not in the box.
Maintaining standards is at the heart of everything the CHSA does. In 1997 the Association launched its first Accreditation Scheme for manufacturers of Soft Tissue products.
Today it has six Accreditation Schemes. They are for manufacturers of paper-based and woven products, plastic-based products, cotton-based products, and cleaning chemicals, for general manufacturers and for distributors of cleaning & hygiene products.
The integrity of the schemes matters. It's why in 2021 the CHSA's Independent Inspector conducted 143 audits, checking more than 3,800 individual products. He found exceptional levels of conformance.
Members of the Accreditation Scheme for paper-based and woven products achieved 92% label compliance, meaning the dimensions and count of every product and other required information is as indicated on the label. Of the 1,260 individual products audited, 96% complied, excluding minor infringements.
The Inspector conducted 40 audits of plastic-based products. 1,820 individual items were tested, and 672 labels checked. Overall label compliance was 93% and 92% of all products tested met the requirements of the Scheme, guaranteeing they are fit for purpose.
Members of the Accreditation Scheme for manufacturers of cotton-based products achieved 97% compliance on the labels checked and 96% on the 720 products tested.
The 17 members of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Cleaning & Hygiene Chemicals were reviewed by the inspector and their status confirmed.
Every distributor member of the CHSA was also audited against their commitment to buy products from a CHSA Accredited Manufacturer and that product from other manufacturers conformed to the requirements of the relevant Accreditation Scheme. They are audited accordingly.
As well as the auditing process, the CHSA conducts rigorous due diligence on every new applicant to the Association. This process involves confirming all marketing and product claims can be substantiated by hard evidence, for example EN test results. This is followed by an audit of the product range and quality assurance procedures. They are welcomed into the Association only if they successfully complete due diligence and pass the audit.
Every CHSA member has also signed the rigorous Code of Practice. It requires them to "maintain a high standard in the conduct of its business".
The combination of the Code of Practice and Accreditation Scheme membership means every member:
- Trades ethically and sustainably;
- Provides quality, fit for purpose products; and
- Makes sure what's on the box is what's in the box.
Committed to the integrity of the Schemes, the CHSA's governing Council will expel any Scheme member who, despite being offered the guidance required to correct issues, consistently fails to conform to the relevant Scheme Standard.
17th November 2022