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About SMK

Quality labels and certificates

Why certify?

Influence and decision-making

The development of new programs and criteria or the revision of existing requirements from certification schemes is a careful process. SMK works closely with Boards of Experts, who are advised by the parties involved and ultimately set the criteria. This decision is preceded by an extensive process of consultation and advice. How exactly does it work and which parties are involved? We are happy to explain it to you.

The development process

The certification schemes are developed under the responsibility of the SMK Boards of Experts. These Boards consist of experts from the interested social sectors. They have final responsibility for the development of the requirements and are advised by interested parties in guidance committees and hearings. Ultimately, the Boards of Experts establish the objective criteria for more sustainable production and business operations.

Tasks of the Boards of Experts

  • Process request for development or extension of certification scheme/criteria.
  • Determine the composition of a supervisory committee. This committee serves as a sounding board for the study. This is an advisory group of interested parties and certification bodies with specific knowledge of the product group for which criteria are being developed or revised.
  • Review of draft criteria and advice from supervisory committee.
  • Reviewing the hearing report + making a list of the questions asked with answers.
  • Final adoption of the certification scheme/criteria.

Board of Experts Plant Products

This Board advises on all quality labels and certificates that deal with plant products.

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Board of Experts Animal Products

This Board advises on all quality labels and certificates that deal with animal products.

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Board of Experts Non-food Products

This Board advises on all quality labels and certificates related to non-food products.

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The Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) oversees the Dutch procurement of wood.

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Guidance Committee

Before a certification scheme is developed, a feasibility study is done. If there is already a certification scheme, there might be a development or revision study. It is important that a new requirement within the scheme is applicable to current and new certificate holders.

The Board of Experts sets up a supervisory committee during these types of studies. The committee serves as a sounding board and gives advice to the relevant Board of Experts.


After the draft criteria have been drawn up, we invite interested parties to a public hearing. This is done via targeted e-mails, the SMK newsletter, a news item on our website, and press releases in (trade) media. Invitees can be all categories of stakeholders: companies, certificate holders, civil society organizations, certification bodies, and other stakeholders.

During the hearing, the requirements are discussed and those present can give a reaction. These reactions are considered in the determination of the final criteria. The Board of Experts also indicates in the report of the hearing how the input has been used.

I have a question

If you have any questions, please contact us.