Once the first farmer group was identified, organic certification was initiated. The original certification body was Lebancert, in cooperation with Qua Vera for EU approval and bio.inspecta for NOP. The advantage of this CB was that they were Arab speaking Christians, so they could deal with alcohol. The product was certified organic to EU and US regulation.
By the end of 2013 it folded and transferred all its business to the local subsidiary of the Italian Instituzione Mediterranea de Certificazione, IMC. This certifier was bought in its turn by another Italian organic certification body, CCPB. In 2014, IMC had not been able to do the annual inspection of fields, process and cellar because of the negative travel advise for the region due to daesh, they were also denied visa by the Iraqi embassy in Beirut. Also in 2015, it was not possible to visit the premises. That meant that by December 2015, the certification lapsed.
In 2014, 2015 and 2015 we have not bought any new raisins from the organic farmers (who sold most of their product as fresh table grapes). The brandy stayed locked in the cellars. As soon as the negative travel advise is lifted (still in force in September 2018) we want to resume the certification procedure.