Retail-Led Consumer Product Safety Effort Grows

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Retail-Led Consumer Product Safety Effort Grows

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) said yesterday that Intertek, an international provider of quality and safety solutions, has joined RILA and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) as a sponsor in the development and rollout of a worldwide manufacturing standard for consumer goods.

Earlier this year RILA and the BRC teamed up to create a global product safety standard in North America. The organization’s standard will help retailers comply with new regulations by establishing a meaningful, achievable and certifiable worldwide measure by which manufacturing operations are set.

Intertek will join RILA and the BRC as third-party auditor and one of three select non-voting members of the RILA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). With membership including many top U.S. retailers, the committee guides the development of the standards.

“Our progress thus far has been tremendous,” said Jim Neill, VP of product safety at Arlington, Va.-based RILA. “Intertek’s proven success in assessing risk and ensuring the safety of products in a manner that is effective and efficient adds a strong new champion to our efforts.”

Gene Rider, VP global retail leader and president of Intertek Consumer Goods North America, added that the company would contribute its “expertise in the areas of testing, inspection, certification and quality assurance to RILA, their membership and the BRC.”

The target date for release of the North American version of the standard is October 2009, with implementation of the new standards expected by spring 2010.

The BRC has already developed global standards for food, packaging, storage and distribution, and consumer products, which have gained approval from European retailers.

RILA’s goal is to proactively protect consumers and retail brands by collaborating with suppliers to adopt and implement industry-wide, global safety standards, while support effective legislation and regulatory compliance.