This is a major security effort to limit fraudulent certification claims.
Leading organic and gluten free product certification organization, Quality Assurance International (QAI) has announced that a QR code will become a central element to its security features and fraud prevent efforts.
The barcodes will be created for its certified product certificates.
By using a QR code on the product certification documents, QAI hopes to reduce the amount of fraud that is currently occurring within this marketplace. At the moment, there are a rapidly growing number of fake certificates in circulation. This issue is currently being addressed by the National Organic Program (NOP), as it is not legal to make false claims about the USDA organic certification status of products. This act is punishable by fines.
The QR code will make it easier to validate the authenticity of a certificate.
The USDA has accredited 91 certifying agencies. QAI is the first among them to use a QR code to make sure that they can quickly, easily, and accurately verify the authenticity of the certificates that they issue.
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Each of the certificates that they award will now feature a unique QR code which is linked back to QAI so that it can be checked for authenticity. The system works in a method similar to the way that barcodes are currently used by retailers in order to track pricing and inventory. It now provides consumers, inspectors, and regulators, as well as various other members of the supply chain, with a way to validate that the certificate was indeed issued by QAI.
When the QR code is scanned, it directs the individual to the QAI’s listing and product information on its website. According to the certifier, the products that receive its certification can display the barcode on their packaging and labels, which will make it easier for customers to check for themselves. It will allow these consumers to know that they are purchasing an product that has been legitimately certified as being organic.
According to the QAI general manager, Jaclyn Bowen, “Utilizing QR code technology will help clients and suppliers provide an additional level of assurance and transparency when it comes to the integrity of QAI certified products, which they in turn can provide to consumers.”