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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.


2018 IOIA AGM - Charleston, South Carolina

The 2018 Annual Meeting will be held on March 3 in conjunction with a robust double training menu.

Inspectors can enjoy a substantial member discount to take the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) training February 28-March 2 to become GOTS auditors.  Social Accountability International (SAI) will deliver two additional days of training to cover the Social Aspects of the standard version 5.0, March 4 and 5. GOTS is a project of the Global Standard gGmbH. Both GOTS and SAI training on social auditing are required for GOTS auditors.

If you are curious about the organic textiles industry, please consider attending the GOTS Roundtable on Tuesday, February 27. It is a free event and includes lunch. Click here to see the agenda. If you would like to attend, contact Lori Wyman so she can add you to the registration list.

Members can also choose IOIA advanced training on other topics on March 1-2. Participants may register for 1, 2 or 3 days of training.

Summary of Keynotes for the 2018 AGM - March 3

Whose Voice is Missing?  The Need for a Cultural Shift to Achieve Justice in the Food System
Leah Cohen, General Coordinator of the Agricultural Justice Project

The keynote will focus on the fundamental work of the Agricultural Justice Project and why AJP has taken a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector approach to working towards justice in the food system.  How this approach, as well as the resulting high bar standards and verification system, offers a pathway to revolutionary food system change by addressing the underlying mechanisms that maintain injustice. These points will be illustrated through poignant and authentic stories of the experiences of different food system stakeholders, including immigrant farmworkers, farm interns, family scale farmers, chicken processing plant line workers, restaurant workers, and mom and pop and independent food stores, and eaters.  The illustration of the broad scale of current injustices in our food system will be further reinforced by sector-based statistics on racial, economic, and health disparities, as well as concentration of power and market share in the food system.  This participatory keynote will ask the audience to contribute their own voices to the content and will conclude with an inspirational story from one of the Food Justice Certified farms in the South, where AJP’s stakeholder approach to develop Food Justice Certification has ensured protections for those for who labor that government policy has failed to protect.

Shaheed Harris, SCF-Organic Farms, South Carolina

The story of Asya's Farm and Mobile Farmers Market

Shaheed and his mother Fathiyyah Mustafa hosted IOIA’s making of the Sound and Sensible video “What to Expect at an Organic Vegetable Farm Inspection”, a 2015 IOIA project produced for the NOP. For an intro to the farm and to see the video - https://www.scforganicfarms.com/Farm_Tour.html

Advanced Training Schedule - Draft 2018 AGM Agenda - Draft
Keynote Bios 2017 Annual Report
Speaker Bios 2017 - Chair's Annual Report
Bylaws Revision Proposal Sample Bylaws Ballot Candidate Bios and Statements
Discussion Topic: IOIA Draft Comment Policy 2017 Draft Minutes

IOIA events will be co-located with the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Fiber Council’s annual meeting, which will precede IOIA’s program.

•             GOTS Fiber Standard Training, February 28
•             GOTS Auditor Training, February 28 - March 2
•             Advanced Inspector Training, March 1 -2 (register for 1 or both days)
•             Annual Meeting, Lunch, Keynote, and Party, March 3
•             Cultural Field Trips, including John's Island, March 4
•             SAI Training on Social Auditing, March 4-5

Advanced Training will begin on February 28, with training on the GOTS standard. Inspectors interested in learning about the standard are welcome to take this as a stand-alone training day.  Those who are interested in the full GOTS auditor credential will continue on to Day 2 (March 1) for a field trip training exercise at a GOTS textile facility. The GOTS training concludes with an exam on March 2.

A full range of advanced training topics will be offered on March 1 and 2. Participants can choose 1 or 2 days of this training.

Field trips will be organized to the surrounding area including historic John’s Island, home to America’s only tea plantation (though not organic) and certified organic farms.

Event Registration links

GOTS training Register here
SAI training Register here
Advanced Training/Field Trips/AGM Register here
GOTS Fiber Standards Training (Feb 28 only) Register here

Charleston, the oldest city in South Carolina (founded 1670), is famous for its charm, its preserved architecture, its food, and its history.  An oceanfront harbor city located between two major rivers, it has a thriving arts, eco, culinary, music, and festival scene. To learn more about the city visit http://www.charlestoncvb.com/  or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston,_South_Carolina.  What is “Rainbow Row”? Google it to see! Charleston was ranked the "World's Best City" by Travel + Leisure in 2016.

Hot Local Band
YeeHaw Junction
will perform at the AGM's evening party!
Click on the photo to link
to a sample video!

The host venue is the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston/Mount Pleasant, 300 Wingo Way, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464, three miles from downtown historic Charleston ($8 cab ride or $2 straight city bus ride), and 20 minutes from the airport. IOIA has reserved a room block, which will not be available after Jan. 27, 2018. IOIA will prepare the rooming list for those requesting shared lodging by the deadline. For shared rooms, IOIA will charge you for the room and then pay the hotel for you. You are also welcome to find your own roommate and book directly.  Those who desire private rooms should book directly with the hotel, on-line using this link created for the HiltonLink for the IOIA group. Or call: 1-800-HILTONS if you are unable to book on-line. You must request the IOIA room block.

Room cost is $159/night every night except for March 2 and 3 ($199/night), plus 13% tax.  Check-in is 3 p.m. and check-out is 11 a.m. Amenities and features include 5 minute walk to historic area with restaurants, in-house restaurant, coin-operated laundry, multi-lingual staff, and easy access to beach. For more information about the hotel click here. You are encouraged to book early as several other events are co-locating in Charleston. The second floor rooftop terrace (outdoor pool, fire pit, and cash bar) will be the site of the AGM’s evening musical entertainment. In case of inclement weather, the meeting will move back inside.

A note of appreciation goes to the GOTS training team: Lori Wyman, GOTS North American representative (MA), Angela Wartes-Kahl, Oregon Tilth Fiber & Textiles Coordinator (OR), and Karlin Warner OneCert Certification Manager (NE).

Thank you to the AGM Organizing Committee – Ryan Merck (SC), Ryan Sitler (NC), Eunice Schlappi (KY), Justin Hurley (NC), Brian Rakita (VA), and Pam Sullivan (NH) for their assistance in pulling the events together.


View a recap of the 2017 25th Anniversary AGM here