About QAI

Workers sort fruit.
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As a pioneer in the organic industry for more than 25 years, QAI is a leading advocate for certified organic production. We are committed to fostering increased consumer trust in the organic label by:

  • Certifying organic integrity to national and international programs
  • Providing an efficient, timely and thorough certification process
  • Updating you on regulation changes through education and training
  • Innovating solutions for the growing organic market
  • Protecting our environment


Workers prepare organic cookies for packaging.

Quality Assurance International (QAI) was founded in 1989 and began certifying agricultural products to the California standard as there was then no national organic standard. Due to the complicated and evolving state of the standard at that time, QAI established itself by taking a methodical and regulatory approach to the certification process. We believe that consumer trust in organic claims can only be guaranteed through rigorous verification, inspection and assurance practices.

QAI Timeline

  • Founded in San Diego
  • Became First Certifier for Organic Processors Became USDA NOP Accredited
  • Launched NSF 305 Organic Personal Care Program
  • Launched Transitional Program

Through our deep commitment to a professional practice, our reputation and certification mark recognition grew and QAI quickly emerged as a major leader for organic certification. QAI worked together with Senator Patrick Leahy and other members of Congress to push for a federal organic standard. Finally, in October 2002, QAI was able to celebrate with other industry pioneers and leaders when the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 was passed as federal law.

Today, QAI is one of the leading providers of organic certification services worldwide. As an accredited certifier for USDA as well as international organic programs, QAI's programs verify organic integrity at each link of the product supply chain, helping to assure compliance with organic standards for agricultural producers, food processing facilities, integrated manufacturing operations, contract packing operations, traders, distributors, retailers and, ultimately, for consumers.

Environmental Policy

Person sitting at the end of a dock in scenic surroundings; QAI helps protect the environment through organic certification.

Protecting the planet is a part of the QAI mission, and we believe that small changes in our business operations can add up to big benefits for the environment. Turning belief into action, QAI has achieved ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification. In 2015, we received one of San Diego’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards, and in 2016, we passed our EMS audit with no findings for the third year in a row. Our core values help us take action to continue our successful track record:

  • QAI is committed to providing environmental leadership in all aspects of its work.
  • QAI considers the environmental impact of its operations activities and takes appropriate steps to minimize or prevent environmental pollution.
  • QAI strives to go beyond compliance in meeting relevant environmental laws, regulations and other applicable requirements.
  • QAI conducts its operations in a manner that is designed to minimize the impact on the environment and the people who live and work in that environment.
  • QAI is dedicated to conformance with the requirements of ISO 14001, and to the continual improvement of its environmental management system by establishing and meeting environmental targets and objectives.

Sustainability by the Numbers

Just as QAI is a strong corporate advocate for organics and the environment, QAI’s staff members are committed to following earth-friendly practices during their work days. Each year, the QAI team continues to improve the company’s carbon footprint. In 2016, the team:



pounds of food waste



plastic bags