NSF International Acquires Quality Assurance International

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and SAN DIEGO, Mar 3, 2004 -- NSF International (NSF), an independent, not-for-profit leader in public health and safety risk management solutions, today announced the acquisition of Quality Assurance International, Inc. (QAI, Inc.), the global leader in organic certification.

Clients working with each organization will benefit from the acquisition, which brings together two respected organizations with a common goal. In the upcoming months, QAI and NSF will work together to provide independent, third- party certification programs and quality services that help protect the safety of food and consumer products.

"After years of building Quality Assurance International, Inc., into a highly recognized, leading certification organization, I am thrilled to announce that QAI has joined forces with another world-class certification leader, NSF International," said Griffith W. McLellan, QAI, Inc. president.

QAI, founded in San Diego, California in 1989, has focused its efforts on providing quality organic certification services at every step in the organic production chain and educating the organic community and consumers. According to recent market surveys, two out of three certified organic products on U.S. store shelves use QAI certification services. The acquisition by NSF advances QAI's strategic plans and expands capabilities while complementing NSF's ongoing mission as a world leader in standards development, product certification, education and risk management solutions for public health and safety.

"By combining our expertise, experience and unparalleled customer service, NSF and QAI create the opportunity to offer innovative programs and multiple certifications from a single source; enhance our ability to provide our clients with the highest levels of service; and most importantly, expand our commitment to excellence," said Joe Smillie, QAI senior vice-president.

QAI will work closely with NSF to reach out to the food industry, producers, trading companies, manufacturers, private labelers, restaurants and retail distributors to offer combined quality services for a wide array of clients.

"Based on the combined efforts of QAI and NSF, we will expand our certification, food safety, auditing and organic certification services," said Kevan P. Lawlor, NSF president and CEO. "The true beneficiaries of this acquisition will be businesses and consumers as NSF and QAI redefine technical excellence in third-party certification."

Together, NSF and QAI will meet the changing needs of the global marketplace as consumers demand quality and accountability at every step of the organic certification process, said Lawlor.

About Quality Assurance International: QAI is a global leader in organic certification services. With offices in the US, Canada and Japan, and operations in Latin America, QAI verifies organic and other claims for more than 2,700 client locations. Clients include agricultural producers, contract packing operations, primary manufacturers, trader-distributors and retailers among others. QAI's certification programs are designed to verify compliance at every link of the product handling chain. This assures the consumer that product integrity is preserved in the marketplace. For further information about QAI, visit the Company's website at www.qai-inc.com .

About NSF International: NSF International, a not-for-profit, non- governmental organization, is the leading global provider of public health and safety risk management services. NSF provides product certification and safety audits for the food and water industries. Other services include management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Serving companies in 80 countries, NSF was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI USA. For more information on NSF, visit www.nsf.org .

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