We're interested in your comments and experience with organic farming.
This site is moderated. Commercial promotion posts will be removed.
IOIA Inspector Training Courses to be held in BC
For the first time in years, organic inspector training courses will be held in British Columbia, in the spring of 2004. The Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) and the Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) are hosting both a Basic Organic Farm Inspectors Training and an Advanced Inspectors Training, to be held in conjunction with the annual COABC conference, BC's Organic Future 2004. The conference and trainings will be at the beautiful Naramata Centre, near Penticton BC. Organic food will be served, and the Basic Inspection course includes a mock inspection of a local organic facility.
Anyone considering becoming an organic inspector will need to attend the Basic Training, while current inspectors are recommended to attend the Advanced Training. The Basic course is also highly recommended for certification agency review committee members, processors, industry activists, and farmers - in short, anyone who needs to better understand the organic inspection and certification process.
These training sessions will hold to IOIA's rigorous standards. IOIA has set the international standard for inspector training instruction, and their curriculum brings consistency to the training process and prepares inspectors for situations they will likely encounter while conducting inspections.
Attendance to both the Advanced and Basic courses is limited. Acceptance to the courses is dependent on meeting the IOIA acceptance criteria, which include a demonstration of commitment to organic principles and to certification, continuing eduction, physical health, a high level of communication skills, and some experience in the organic movement. Additional experience in inspection is required for the Advanced Training.
These courses will be held in conjunction with the COABC conference, BC's Organic Future 2004, and training participants are encouraged to attend the conference. Conference workshops will include compost and compost tea, livestock management, audit trails, tree fruit pest control, post-harvest handling and storage, organic aquaculture and environmental farm planning.
IOIA Basic Farm Inspector Training - February 24-27, 2004
This training will have a unique regional focus and use COABC standards while still covering the basic IOIA curriculum including organic farm inspection protocols, investigative skills, risk assessment, auditing farm yields, use of approved materials, report writing and on-farm processing, along with a mock inspection to a local orchard, vineyard or greenhouse.
IOIA Advanced Inspector Training - March 1-2, 2004
Advanced Training will be responsive to needs of provincial inspectors and certifiers. Topics include ISO 65 compliance, working with both NOP and COABC standards, record-keeping, label reviews, auditing and audit trails, and BC SPCA validation.
For information, application forms, and registration for both Conference and Trainings, contact
Rebecca Kneen, IOIA Training Administrator
S6, C38 RR#1 Sorrento BC V0E 2W0
Ph: (250) 675-4122 o Fax (250) 675-6849
Kristen Kane, COABC Administrator
#8A 100 Kalamalka Lk Rd., Vernon BC V1T 9G1
Ph: (250)260-4429 o Fax: (250) 260-4436
and check out the COABC website for updates: http://www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca, as well as the application form and details on the training, including costs.
Are you a farmer/gardener? Farmer, Brewer
is there a shortage of inspectors in BC?
My impression is that, while there may be a number of
inspectors, not every one is qualifed
to inspect Processors or Livestock operations, and that
the skill level varies widely. There are more and more organic operations –
farms, on-farm processors, large processors, retailers, wholesalers, warehouses
etc. – starting every year, and we need to have an inspector base to meet that
need. PACS and FVOPA, which both certify to NOP and ISO 65 standards, have to
rotate inspectors regularly, so they need a larger pool of inspectors from which
That said, I also understand that it may not be possible
(certainly for beginners) to make a living full-time with
inspection in BC. One must be prepared to travel and to work
part-time, at least at first.
And I would add that the Basic Organic Farm Inspector course
is a very valuable tool for anyone interested in making their
living in the organic industry. Not only does one come away
with a better understanding of organic regulations, one also
gains a better understanding of why the regulations exist, and
how they have been shaped over the years.
Are you a farmer/gardener? Farmer, Brewer