Our Mission: To address issues and concerns relevant to organic inspectors, to provide quality inspector training, and
to promote consistency and integrity in the organic certification process.


2017 IOIA AGM - Celebrating 25 Years!

IOIA will celebrate its 2017 annual meeting and 25th anniversary in Ottawa on March 25. The meeting will be led by Stuart McMillan from Manitoba. For the first time in IOIA history, an BOD Chair from Canada will lead the Annual Meeting in Canada.

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada and the fourth largest city in Canada, will itself be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017. The historic Lord Elgin Hotel, www.lordelginhotel.ca, located in the heart of downtown, was selected as the host venue for both the AGM and advanced training. The locally owned hotel is celebrating its own 75th anniversary with a major renovation of all lodging rooms this year.


More about the venue
Features include a fitness center, pool, whirlpool, sauna, and an onsite restaurant - Grill 41. The meeting room for the annual meeting is the Lady Elgin Room with historic paintings and large windows overlooking Confederation Park. The IOIA rate is a very attractive $169/night, plus 3% DMF and 13% HST, totaling just under $200 CAD or about $150 US. Shared room options will make it affordable for all IOIA members. The current US-CAD currency exchange makes this especially attractive for US members. Taxis are about $30 from airport.

More about the training
Inspectors can select one or two days of training. Topics being considered include:

And field trips!
Twice past BOD member Monique Scholz of Quebec has volunteered to spearhead the field trips. Two field trip days are planned. On March 22, field trips will be scheduled to area certified organic operations. On March 26, groups will organize for cultural field trips to enjoy the many attractions. There are many National Historic Sites of Canada in Ottawa, including the stunning Parliament Buildings (gothic revival architecture). The city’s national museums and galleries include the National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian War Museum. The Canadian Museum of History, across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, is the most visited museum in Canada. Designed by Canadian aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal, the complex also houses the Canadian Children’s Museum, Canadian Postal Museum, and a 3D IMAX theatre. Since 1969, Ottawa has been the home of the National Arts Centre, a major performing arts venue that houses four stages and is home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lyra Ottawa.

Ottawa sits at the confluence of three major rivers: the Ottawa River, the Gatineau River and the Rideau River. The city neighbors Gatineau, Quebec. The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city name “Ottawa” is derived from the Ottawa River, which is a word derived from the Algonquin word “Odawa”, meaning “to trade”, according to Alan Rayburn (2001). Naming Canada: Stories About Canadian Place Names.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend!

March 22: field trips to regional certified organic operations

March 23-24: advanced organic inspector training

Dr. Jochen Neuendorff of GfRS, a certification agency in Germany, will be the lead speaker for the advanced training on March 24. He will speak on the topic of risk-based inspections. He leads a program for a Train-the-Trainer course on risk-based inspections as an outcome of the project IRM-Organic, www.irm-organic.eu. Project partners for IRM-Organic included 6 inspection bodies from four EU member states. Some IOIA members may remember Dr. Neuendorff as a speaker in Boston at the AntiFraud Initiative meeting in 2010. More recently, he spoke at an in-house training for CSI inspectors. Inspectors who participated in that training highly recommended him as a speaker. Click on his photo for more info.

March 25: Annual General Meeting and 25th anniversary gala

March 26: Cultural field trips in downtown Ottawa

March 27-28-29: Board of Directors working retreat