Stewardship and quality management are key components when companies are introducing and maintaining products in the marketplace today, and a basically unknown non-profit organization, Excellence Through Stewardship (ETS), assists major companies in addressing the necessary components throughout the marketing value chain.

ETS is a global organization with 30 members across continents, including some of the largest crop protection and seed companies doing business in the U.S. ETS promotes the adoption of best practices for agricultural technology, which includes biotechnology.  With the help of industry experts, ETS develops quality management and stewardship programs that work with existing company procedures and programs over the entire life cycle of a product, ETS notes. 

The program is structured so that after an implementation period using a suite of implementation tools, a third party auditor examines the organization’s operations to ensure it has been properly implemented.  ETS then publically recognizes those that have successfully completed the process.    

ETS supports the responsible management of agricultural technology and aims to distribute its stewardship and quality management systems and processes to all members of the agricultural value chain, it emphasizes.  

“Once a member joins our organization, they have access to all of ETS’s resources including experts, guides, trainings, presentations and more to help them implement the stewardship and quality management programs,” said Eric Van Ausdal, director of projects, outreach and membership for ETS. “After a period for implementation, the new member is audited by a third party independent auditor to assess whether they’ve implemented ETS acceptable quality systems and processes.”

 Van Ausdal further explained, “ETS uses industry experts to develop the programs and technical resources.  The company itself implements the program. The audits of our member companies are done by third party independent auditors.

“The quality management and stewardship programs developed by ETS have aspects that touch all types operations from those at headquarters, storage facilities and fields to greenhouses and laboratories—their applicability to each specific member company is assessed on a case by case basis. Third-party audits are conducted at a systems level, at specified intervals organized by and at the expense of member companies. ETS-trained auditors examine objective evidence for each of the ETS elements relevant to an organization’s operations.

An example of a management program being expanded is the ETS resistance management quality and systems program.

The ETS website is http://excellencethroughstewardship.org/ .

The organization is explaining its existence as it reached a milestone of 30 members. The international list of companies is as follows:

African Agricultural Technology Foundation

AgReliant Genetics

Agritech Rural

ArborGen Inc

BASF Plant Science

Bayer CropScience, LP

Beijing Origin State Harvest Biotechnology Limited

Ceres, Inc.

CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Curimapu

DBN (Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co., Ltd.)

Dow AgroSciences LLC

DuPont

Genective

INDEAR (Instituto de Agrobiotecnologia Rosario S.A.)

KWS

Limagrain

Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd.)

Monsanto Company

PANNAR

Pinto Piga Seeds

S & W Seed Company

Semillas del Sur

Semillas Tuniche

Simplot Plant Sciences

SINOBIOWAY Bio-Agriculture Group Co., Ltd.

Sociedad Exportadora Importadora Hortisem LTDA.

Syngenta

3rd Millennium Genetics