Getting certified ‘Made In USA’ pays off

When Adam Reiser and a partner founded a magazine nine years ago titled “Made In USA,” they wrote articles about companies making products in the USA. However, Reiser, who today is CEO and co-founder of Made In USA Certified (www.usa-c.com), found out that “people speak with forked tongue.” While they were telling Reiser that their products were being made in this country, in actuality they were shipping products in from China and relabeling them “Made in USA.”

“What triggered this was a guy in California who could never get my e-mail address correct,” Reiser told PlasticsToday. “He kept spelling my name “Atom” and said he never heard of the name “Adam.” So I flew to California and watched as his workers unloaded boxes of products from China and repackaged them to say Made In USA. That’s when I knew we had to check everyone and verify everything we were being told.”
   
In 2007, someone suggested to Reiser that they begin to offer certification for their Made In USA products. He looked at the various certification agencies out there, and spoke to people in Washington, DC about U.S. manufacturing. When the recession crisis hit in 2008 and 2009, and companies were hemorrhaging jobs and more work was going offshore, Reiser and his partner decided to offer a formal Made In USA certification.

Through an auditing process, Reiser’s company looks at everything the company wanting certification does—accounting, legal, manufacturing, farming operations—to verify that what the company produces is truly a USA product. “We also verify with on-site visits depending on the type of certification the company wants,” explained Reiser. “If we don’t do a personal on-site visit, we Fed Ex a camera that is GPS enabled, so if they’re standing in a field showing us their fruits and vegetables, we’ll know if they’re standing in Mexico or Arizona. The company wanting certification must also take a photo of the person doing the photographing of the products.”

Made In USA Certified charges an initial audit fee. The company desiring the certification fills out an application form and Made In USA Certified does some preliminary research to verify that the initial information is correct. Next, they either do an on-site visit or send the camera. If the company is accepted, they pay a small monthly licensing and compliance fee.
   
The company recently got Walmart to accept Made In USA Certified as the certification firm for any Walmart vendor claiming to make its products in the USA. “Walmart doesn’t want to have any misrepresentation of claims of Made in the USA if it’s not,” said Reisesr. “Now Walmart sends their vendors for USA-made products to our company and we certify them. Walmart accepts that certification. They don’t have to get into that end of things.”
   
Reiser said that R&D/Leverage is the first company in the plastics industry to be certified but he hopes it’s not the last. “I didn’t realize the plastics industry was so big,” exclaimed Reiser. “R&D/Leverage were really good people to work with. And because of their certification, they’ve gotten some business from companies seeking a certified Made In USA supplier.”
   
For more information or to become Made In USA Certified, contact the company by calling 1-561-29-2855 or go to their website and ask for a quote at www.usa-c.com.

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