Validus Ventures, LLC (Validus) Urbandale, Iowa and the Facility Certification Institute, Inc. (FCI) Washington, DC have reached an agreement whereby the FCI group, including Brian Bennett, VP of Operations, and all of the FCI contracted auditors will become a division of Validus according to a joint announcement from Earl Dotson, President and CEO of Validus, and Richard Severson, President of FCI.

"Everyone associated with FCI is extremely excited about this alliance as it presents a new and dynamic future for FCI with the added support of resources, including training capabilities, international experience and ISO 65 accreditation, to FCI's auditing and certification services," said Mr. Severson. "Validus is a true independent, third?party organization which has no conflict of interest in adding FCI to their organization. We have been assured Validus has no plans to add any lines of business which would present the potential of a conflict of interest by marketing services or products to the same customers for which they will be providing auditing and certifications services. Conflict of interest concerns are a primary requirement to meet the proposed FDA guidelines and ISO 65 requirements in independent, third?party certification programs," added Severson.

"The addition of FCI's auditing and certification service program to the Validus organization is a great step forward for broadening the services we currently provide. Validus will continue to provide comprehensive, proven auditing, assessment and certification programs that bring socially responsible, scientifically based and economically viable solutions to on?farm operations, the feed industry and agricultural related operations. This plan will continue the name recognition of FCI and the philosophy of "certification with integrity" that has been established over the last 11 years," stated Mr. Dotson.

The Facility Certification Institute was founded in 2001 to provide auditing and certification services for the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) which created the Restricted Use Protein Products (RUPP) Program. The RUPP Program was created by AFIA to meet the challenges of the emergence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) which started in Europe in the late 1990's. This allowed North American based feed and feed ingredient companies the ability to be audited and certified by an independent, third?party organization, thus fulfilling the need for a strong, effective program that had been talked about for several years.

Since 2001, FCI has added auditing and certification programs for the North American Spray Dried Blood and Plasma Producers Association, working with AFIA to form the Plasma and Hemoglobin Program. FCI then partnered with the Land Grant Universities to create the first U.S. based HACCP auditing and certification program for the feed industry, followed by the Animal Protein Processor's (NRA) Code of Practice Program. In 2005, FCI started providing auditing services for AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Program and in 2012 began conducting both auditing and certification for the Safe Feed/Safe Food program.

Validus, an ISO 9001 certified company, assists food companies and producers by providing specialized services at the farm level. These services focus on social responsibility in the areas of animal welfare, environment, food safety, worker care and biosecurity. Since 2001, Validus has worked in partnership with owners and operators to protect reputations and expand profits. Validus has conducted thousands of on?farm assessments and audits and has worked with their clients to create and implement long?term solutions that safeguard their operations while opening them to profit from new, expanding markets.

The final transfer of business is scheduled to take place on December 31, 2012. The Animal Protein Producers Institute (APPI) has selected Validus/FCI as an ISO 65 qualified auditing body to continue auditing and certifying the APPI Code of Practice Program. Also the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has selected Validus/FCI to continue auditing and certifying the AFIA Safe Feed/Safe Food Program as an ISO 65 qualified auditing body. FCI has provided this service to both APPI and AFIA since the programs were launched.

Over the next few months, Validus and FCI will be working closely together on training and education to ensure a smooth transition as they move forward in this new venture.

For more information about FCI please contact:
Brian Bennett, Vice President of Operations
(866) 320?7751

For more information about Validus please contact:
Marj Ocheltree, Director of Consulting
(515) 278?8002