Dirk Riedel is Managing Director of KompostWerke Rhein-Sieg GmbH & Co. KG (KRS). The compa-ny uses the RAL Quality Mark for Compost. In an interview with the RAL Quality Marks Magazine, Herr Riedel explains why his company uses the RAL Quality Mark, how customers benefit as a result and how compliance with the Quality Assurance and Test Specifications is ensured.

Name of the company: KompostWerke Rhein-Sieg GmbH & Co. KG (KRS)
Holder of the RAL Quality Mark since: The site in Morenhoven has held the RAL Quality Mark since 1995, our two other sites since 2001.
Location: Swisttal-Miel, Swisttal-Morenhoven and Sankt Augustin
Number of employees: 31 full and part-time employees
Products certified by RAL: Fresh and finished compost
Product range: Our product range mainly comprises organic fertilisers, soil conditioners and growing media. These products are used in conventional and organic farming, the gardening and landscap-ing sector and by potting soil companies and hobby gardeners. Our main focus is the production and sale of composts certified with the RAL Quality Mark.
Sales area: Rhine-Sieg region and the surrounding areas
Website: www.krs.rsag.de

Why did you decide to have your products certified with the RAL Quality Mark?
It is very important for us to offer high quality products and thus ensure the satisfaction of our cus-tomers. The RAL Quality Mark allows us to clearly differentiate ourselves from our competitors on the market. It certifies a high standard of quality, guarantees legal certainty, specifies the steps for turning waste into a product and creates trust on the market.

What is special about these products, what distinguishes you from the competition?
The quality requirements placed on composts certified with the RAL Quality Mark go far beyond the legal regulations. A special focus is placed on the safety of the source materials, the use of suit-able processing technology and inspections of the end products. This has a particularly positive ef-fect on how the products are perceived by consumers and authorities. These products are thus exempt from certain testing and verification obligations required by the authorities in accordance with the German Biowaste Ordinance (BioAbfV).

What advantages does the RAL quality assurance system offer to customers?
Our customers receive a wide range of benefits as a result. Every time they accept a delivery, they receive a detailed test certificate with an overview of the important legal regulations and guidelines that have been complied with in the production of the compost, a detailed test report and a legally secure product declaration with recommendations for use and guidelines for various types of appli-cation. It is not only our company as the manufacturer that is exempt from some of the testing and verification obligations in the German Biowaste Ordinance, our customers are also exempt from completing numerous soil tests, which makes the process of producing delivery notes that are compliant with waste law significantly easier.

How do you ensure that the services associated with the RAL Quality Mark are actually provided?
Our internal quality assurance department continuously monitors our processes within the compa-ny as part of a self-monitoring mechanism to ensure that we comply with the high requirements of the RAL quality assurance system. Furthermore, the quality of the products is ensured by third-party monitoring using approved, independent samplers and testing laboratories. In addition, the entire production process from the acceptance of the biological raw materials through to the deliv-ery of the compost to the customer is regularly tested by independent quality inspectors. These inspections are carried out on our premises. Ultimately, the Federal Compost Association (BGK) – which is the organisation recognised by RAL for the implementation of the RAL quality assurance system – also makes a significant contribution to the fulfilment of these services. Amongst other things, it promotes research projects related to quality assurance and quality improvements, car-ries out public relations work for the quality assurance system, develops application recommenda-tions and monitors, labels and ensures the quality of compost.