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.


Advanced Organic Inspector Trainings and IOIA Annual Meeting
Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, April 6-12, 2016

IOIA will sponsor advanced organic inspector training on April 6-8 in conjunction with the Annual General Membership Meeting on April 9, followed by options for field trips to organic operations and aquaculture on April 10. A Train the Trainer course is offered on April 11-12 to Asians interested in becoming IOIA trainers. Two basic Organic Processing Inspection Trainings are also scheduled to run concurrently April 4-8. One will be in English language, based on the USDA National Organic Program regulations. The second training will be in Korean language, based on the Korean national regulations.

The AGM on April 9 Andre Leuwill begin at 10 a.m. Inspector members are asked to pay a nominal fee ($20) for logistical purposes. Supporting members and others may register for $50 per person. Lunch will be served at 12:30 P.M. Keynote address - “Organic 3.0 - our new collective vision” will be offered by Andre Leu of Australia, current President of IFOAM – Organics International. Andre Leu is the author of The Myths of Safe Pesticides. He has over 40 years of experience in all areas of Organic Agriculture, not only in his home country of Australia, but also across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. He was recently invited by the UNEP to present research findings from the organic movement at a “Science Fair for a Safer Tomorrow.”

Welcome will be offered by the mayor of Seoul, Mr. Park Wonsoon.

All events will be held at the Bareve Hotel in Seogwipo City, Jeju, Republic of Korea. The hotel is readily accessible from the Jeju Airport by bus or taxi. See 'Accommodations' below for more details.

mt hallosanJeju Island, a popular Asian tourist destination known for a strong environmental ethic is often called “the Hawaii of Asia”. Jeju is a natural history treasure including Mount Hallasan Park (dormant volcano) at the center of the island and many waterfalls. Hiking the lava tubes and caving are popular activities for visitors.

AGM Flyer - English
Training Flyer - English

ANNUAL MEETING: April 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  
Draft Agenda
AGM Speaker Bios
Board of Directors Candidates Statements
Sample Ballot
2015 Annual Report

To Register for the AGM: Click here 

TRAINING: Basic training courses and minimum inspection experience are required to receive a Certificate of Completion for IOIA Advanced Training. Auditors are welcome if space is available and will receive Certificate of Completion for Organic Inspection Workshop. Participants may register for one, two, or three days of training.

The organic aquaculture training on April 6 will help inspectors prepare for organic aquaculture inspections. It will briefly address IFOAM Norms for Aquaculture and aquaculture terminology, followed by presentation by an organic aquaculture production expert. Groups will identify Organic Control Points and risk in aquaculture, working with case studies (tropical shrimp, pond culture, net pens, and oysters).
Final Agenda

The advanced training on April 7 will focus on key differences between major worldwide standards and prepare inspectors for the challenges of inspecting to multiple standards. Kathleen Purvis of Western Australia, IOIA inspector member, will be the lead trainer. She will be assisted by experts in the NOP, EU, Korean Regulation, NPOP (India), and JAS (Japan) standards.
Final Agenda

The advanced training on April 8 will focus on topics for the processing inspector including Good Manufacturing Practices, ingredient issues including flavors, and addressing the transition between organic and nonorganic runs in a split operation. Lead Trainers Bob Durst, USA, and Sandeep Bhargava, India are food scientists and inspector members.
Draft Agenda

Trainer and Speaker Bios

To register for the Advanced Courses or AGM:  Click here

To register for the Basic Processing Training (English language):  Click here
For info about the course and application form: Click Here
Both registration and application are required to be considered for acceptance.

To register for the Basic Processing Training (Korean language):
Contact Isidor Yu at Isidor.yu@gmail.com

To register for the Train the Trainer download and complete
this application and return to ioia@ioia.net attn Margaret Scoles.
Train the Trainer Agenda

Deadline to apply is February 19. All registration is on-line.
that an additional application, review, and acceptance process applies for the basic trainings and Train the Trainer.

hotel bareveAccommodations: All events will be held at the Bareve Hotel in Seogwipo City, Jeju, Republic of Korea. This is a new, modern, 4.5 star hotel, with Western style bathrooms and beds. To assist international travelers, IOIA has reserved a room block and will prepare the rooming list. To eliminate extra fees, those requesting private rooms will pay the hotel directly while on-site. For those requesting shared rooms, IOIA will charge the shared room rate and pay the hotel for you. Room cost is $120 including breakfast or $65 per night for shared lodging. There are no additional taxes or fees. Oh, and did we tell you, EVERY ROOM has an ocean view!

Click here for more info about Bareve: Korean language English language

Transportation: The hotel is about 40 minutes from Jeju International Airport (CJU).

Note when planning flight transfers in Republic of Korea: Incheon Airport has flights to Jeju, but most flights are from Gimpo Domestic Line Terminal, NOT Gimpo International Line Terminal. Be careful -- the two terminals are not the same. Going to the International Terminal may cost travelers over 30 minutes to correct the direction.

Note from Mutsumi Sakuyoshi, IOIA Asia Pacific Committee Chair: If you have plans to stop in Tokyo, JOIA members would welcome to arrange a meeting and/or dinner together. Please notify your plan in advance (Email: info@joia-organic.com).  Isidor and Raymond can advise and assist those coming through Seoul (both ICN or GMP), although they both prefer to travel from GMP, as it is closer to Seoul.

Travel Questions and Hints?  Ask the experts: Raymond Yang (funsk8@gmail.com);  Isidor Yu (Isidor.yu@gmail.com), or Mutsumi Sakuyoshi (mu-saku@cap.ocn.ne.jp).

FOOD: First-time travelers to Republic of Korea can look forward to a cuisine that is rated one of the healthiest in the world, including the local fermented kimchi and miso. Jeju Island will offer plentiful options including grains, seaweed, seafood, and mushrooms. Food is available in a wide range of budgets. Start practicing your chopstick etiquette!

Registration Fees: About a month before the training, your credit card will be charged for the registration fee, but will not be charged for lodging unless you have requested a shared room. Lunch is included in all trainings, unless otherwise noted.

Group discounts are available for organizations sending 3 or more participants to an individual training event.

FIELD TRIPS: Confirmed field trips for April 10 include tea processing, mandarin orange production, and aquaculture (fin fish). The field trips will be scheduled so that participants can attend all field trips in one day. Bus transportation is included in the fee. Lunch is not included.

CURRENCY: South Korean won (KRW) is the local currency. Money exchange is readily available in airports and credit cards are usually accepted. Note: Check with your carrier or your bank to be sure that Republic of Korea is on the list of approved countries where you can use your card. Banks often have to add a country before you leave your home country. Coins are ₩10, ₩50, ₩100, ₩500. Banknotes are ₩1000, ₩5000, ₩10,000, ₩50,000.  Current currency exchange is about 1 US$ = 1,200 KRW or 850 CAD$. The first-time visitor to Republic of Korea may find it helpful to remember that 1000 KRW is about the same as $1 US or CAD.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS: For the US and Canadian members traveling to Republic of Korea, no travel visa is currently required. Passports are required, and IOIA recommends checking on travel requirements well in advance. For most international travelers, it will be necessary to travel through the main international airport (Incheon) outside of Seoul before continuing on a smaller regional airline to Jeju.

MORE ABOUT THE LOCATION: Jeju Island is a very special place with a strong environmental ethic and a cultural treasure to Koreans. Because of the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju developed a culture and language that are distinct from those of mainland Korea, including a matriarchal society. Jeju is home to thousands of local legends. Perhaps the most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous dol hareubang ("stone grandfather") carved from a block of basalt. The Jeju economy has traditionally been supported by primary industry, agriculture and fishing, but tourism has taken a more and more important role as the island receives ten million visitors per year.  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeju_Province] 

WEATHER:  Typical weather in Jeju is warm and humid. Average daily temperatures in early April are 16◦C (60◦F) high, 10◦C (48◦F) low, with light to moderate rain likely. Snow is possible in April, but rarely accumulates. Traveling with enough clothing to allow layering is recommended for comfort.

How was JEJU ISLAND chosen? Jeju Island is the location of the first IOIA training in Republic of Korea (2006) - a basic crop inspection training taught by Lisa Pierce and Mutsumi Sakuyoshi. Shortly afterwards, Isidor Yu completed his mentorship as an IOIA trainer. This event will mark the 10th anniversary of IOIA training in the Republic of Korea. Since 2006, 18 courses have been held including basic crop, processing, and livestock as well as two advanced courses. A total of 321 people have been trained. The Korea Organic Inspectors Association was founded in 2008, and secured nonprofit status partly due to the support of IOIA while visiting the Korean national offices of MIFAFF and NAQS in 2010. 

IOIA is recognized as an official training body in Repubic of Korea. National Agricultural Product Quality Management Service (NAQS) accredited IOIA as a training body for organic agriculture inspectors in 2008. Inspectors are required to pass both a test and an exam by an accredited training body, like IOIA. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fishery (MIFAFF) accredited IOIA as a training body for organic processing inspectors. IOIA is the only accredited training body which is located out of Republic of Korea. In short, IOIA has strong ties with the Republic of Korea.

Isidor YuIsidor Yu, Executive Member-At-Large on the IOIA Board of Directors, served a pivotal role in developing this training. The first ever AGM in Asia was unanimously endorsed by the membership after Director Isidor Yu presented a proposal on behalf of the BOD at the 2015 AGM. Why? In 22 years, IOIA trainings have occurred 48% in the US, 11% in Canada, 21% in Latin America, and 20% in Asia. IOIA’s membership currently is 68% US, 20.5% Canadian, 5.5% Latin American, and 5% Asian. Republic of Korea has the highest number of inspector members of any country in Asia. Jeju is also attractive and convenient to Japan, the country next in number of IOIA members. A significant number of trainings have occurred in Asia, and Asia is well-represented in IOIA’s international membership. Meanwhile, IOIA’s annual meetings have all occurred in USA, Canada, or Latin America. Clearly, it is time for an AGM in Asia.  Isidor is joined by Raymond Yang (Republic of Korea), Chair of the 2016 AGM Organizing Committee; and Mutsumi Sakuyoshi (Japan), Chair of IOIA’s Asia Pacific Committee meeting. The Asia Committee draws its members from Nepal, India, Australia, and Thailand.

Recognizing the added cost for international travel, the Board voted to keep BOD travel costs reasonable by paying one-third of their own airfare. IOIA has made every effort to include global membership participation by offering a diverse range of training offerings, all at discounted prices to help offset travel expenses.

Goals of the event

AGM Parties in the US/Canada

In recognition that in-person participation by US and Canadian members may be less than usual; an effort is being made to arrange distance participation via Skype or other means. Upside-down time zones offer a challenge – though not unsurmountable.

A Saturday, April 9, 10:00 a.m. meeting start time in Republic of Korea corresponds to Friday, April 8 in the Western Hemisphere:

Brian Magaro (Pennsylvania) sparked the idea that members who don’t make the trip could organize regional gatherings/overnight parties. Clusters of IOIA members who don’t make the trip can still participate. He offered his barn as the site of one of these “IOIA AGM parties”. Interested in organizing such a gathering? Please contact IOIA.