The seed health laboratory, part of CIMMYT’s Seed Inspection and Distribution Unit (SIDU), has just begun the process of obtaining ISO9000 accreditation with the International Standards Organization. Seed health certification is a major bottleneck that can delay the rapid, timely, and efficient international distribution of CIMMYT seed. That means that CIMMYT must have approved processes in place to ensure that any seed we distribute is disease and pest free.
Since 1998 CIMMYT has worked under the authority of the Mexican Phytosanitary Direction General (DGSV). Now that department also requires CIMMYT to obtain the ISO9000 certification. The accreditation process started on May 31 with a workshop given by CENCADE, a company hired to lead seed health personnel through the process of accreditation. The workshop was attended by 19 staff from SIDU, HR, ICT and Purchasing, as all of these groups will have to contribute to the process. The accreditation process will take approximately 6-7 months.