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French organic certification firm purchases local organic certifier
French OG firm
NICS OWNER MARTA EN-GEL (center) with Ecocert CEO Philippe Thomazo (right) and Director of Americas for Ecocert Vin-cent Morel (left). The three took a break from the presentation and celebration of the acquisition with the NICS employees at their Viroqua office on Friday, Nov. 22.

VIROQUA - Ecocert Group recently announced the acquisition of Nature’s International Certification Services (NICS), an organic certification agency located in Viroqua. The acquisition of NICS significantly strengthens Ecocert’s presence in the United States and solidifies its position as a world leader in certification under the US National Organic Program (NOP). 

“Ecocert is an ecologically minded company whose mission is a lot like NICS’s,” said Marta Engel, owner of NICS. “With the new ownership, NICS will be able to offer even better services to our organic farms and businesses, which has always been the lifeblood of our company.”

NICS was founded by Marta’s husband, Dave Engel, in 2005. With 24 employees, the company certifies around 1,200 operations primarily in the Midwest and Texas. 

"We are delighted and excited to continue the work initiated by NICS’s founders and keep developing quality organic farming,” said Philippe Thomazo, CEO of Ecocert Group. “Bringing NICS into our company allows us to strengthen the Group's presence in the United States, the world's largest market for organic products”. 

Ecocert Group also operates Ecocert ICO, an NOP-accredited certification agency in Plainfield, Indiana. The acquisition will not affect the organic certification of farms and businesses associated with NICS or Ecocert ICO. 


Committed for nearly 30 years to the development of organic farming in France and around the world, ECOCERT Group has become the world leader in organic farming and organic cosmetics certification. The group provides certification services in more than 130 countries through an international network of 26 subsidiaries in 23 different countries and has over 1,400 employees.

Ecocert promotes responsible and environmentally friendly corporate practices through its certification, consulting and training services. 

About Nature's International Certification Services (NICS) 

Nature's International Certification Services (NICS) is a US organic certification body accredited by the USDA National Organic Program. 

Dedicated to organic farming since the 1970s, founder the late David Engel, was a pioneer of the American organic movement.