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.

Trainer Profiles

Who is an IOIA Trainer?
Approved trainers are individuals trained by IOIA to deliver consistent and comprehensive organic inspector training courses. Trainers work with cosponsoring organizations and qualified individuals to organize and instruct IOIA training courses. Trainers are evaluated by IOIA, co-sponsors and attendees following each course and are subject to an IOIA annual review.

There are currently 24 IOIA approved Trainers residing in Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Mexico, Korea (South), and the United States. IOIA Trainers have a wide range of local and often, international expertise, in food production and processing and have several years experience as inspectors for certification organizations. Each Trainer must engage in continuing education, both as offered by IOIA and acquired on their own, to stay informed of developments in the organic industry and to upgrade instructional skills.

IOIA trainers are uniquely qualified to provide leading edge information and perspectives on the skills needed to inspect organic crop, livestock and processing operations to all major global standards. IOIA Trainers

Who is an IOIA Presenter?
IOIA Presenters are individuals IOIA to deliver consistent and comprehensive organic inspector training courses. Presenters work with IOIA Trainers, cosponsoring organizations and qualified individuals to organize and instruct IOIA trainings. Presenters are evaluated by IOIA, co-sponsors and attendees following each course.

IOIA Presenters have a wide range of local and often, international expertise, in food production and processing. Presenters also have several years experience as inspectors for certification organizations. Each Presenter must engage in continuing education, both as offered by IOIA and acquired on their own, to stay informed of developments in the organic industry and to upgrade instructional skills.

IOIA Presenters are uniquely qualified to provide leading edge information and perspectives on specific training topics and in a multitude of training venues. IOIA Presenters 

IOIA Trainers

Harriet BeharHarriet Behar

Harriet Behar is currently the Organic Specialist with MOSES, (Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service), In her work, she has led organic focused trainings and on-farm tours to farmers, feed mill operators, bankers, pest control technicians, extension agents, NRCS personnel, and other agriculture education professionals. Harriet also staffs the MOSES toll-free organic information line, answering a wide variety questions about organic crops and livestock, processing and marketing from around the United States. Over the years as an organic inspector and educator, Harriet has visited over 2000 organic farms and processing facilities around the world, but mostly in the Upper Midwest. She has been growing organic vegetables since 1973, and has operated a certified organic farm since 1989 of vegetables, herbs, bedding plants and small grains on her 216 acres in the hills of Southwestern Wisconsin. She and her husband have an on-farm, state licensed dehydration facility, a large solar greenhouse for commercial scale spring bedding plants and winter vegetable production.

Luis BrenesLuis Brenes

Luis is an organic inspector and trainer that also dedicates  time being  a post-grad professor and an organic compliance consultant.  With 20 years of experience as an accredited organic, inspector, has audited farms and food processing facilities throughout NorthAmerica, LatinAmerica, the Caribbean, and Asia.  Married and father of five, Luis is an agronomist with post-graduate studies in tropical Crop Protection that served as an  organic extension and on-farm research agent. He also served as E.D. of the National Association for Organic Agriculture of Costa Rica, and as an IOIA´s BOD member and Chair.
Vision Statement
I will be an agronomist committed to the common good; not just my own well-being. I will be honest and responsible.  I will work for everything that improves agriculture and farmers’ wellbeing and way of life.  I will be a leader who seeks
consensus and team building.   I will be people-oriented rather than task-oriented (Oct 1992).

Bob Durst

Bob Durst is a food chemist with the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University and Director of their Food Composition Lab; Processing and Materials Director of Simple Organic Solutions- a consulting company that assists industry with meeting the USDA organic regulations; organic processing inspector; past IOIA Board Chair; and a frequent speaker on the topic of organic cosmetics. His educational background is in the field of analytical chemistry with extensive experience in the application of this knowledge to the problems of the fruit and juice industry. He has lectured on the application of organic processing principles at the Northwest Food Processors Association, All Things Organic Trade Show, Institute of Food Technologists, and UC Davis Juice Processing workshops. He was co-Chair of the NSF ANSI 305 organic personal care committee. He holds an MS degree in Biochemistry and held a research positions at OSU for over 30 years.

Joyce Ford

Joyce FordJoyce E. Ford has been an organic inspector since 1992. She currently works part time for the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS), an organic accreditation organization, as an organic certification body evaluator to European Union EC No 834/2007 and 889/2008, Canadian Organic Regulations, IFOAM Standards and Accreditation Criteria and ISO 65. In 2007, Joyce spent 5 weeks as an Agricultural Monitor for pipeline construction through 2 organic farms in MN and trains environmental inspectors for implementation of the Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement Organic Appendix requirements. She trains organic inspectors for the International Organic Inspectors Association and performs internal audits for organic certifying agents (USDA NOP and ISO 65). She has co-authored organic inspector curriculum manuals, the Organic Trade Association Good Organic Retailing Practices manual, and the certification chapter in Organic Dairy Farming. She and her husband, Jim Riddle currently operate Blue Fruit Farm, a certified organic perennial edible fruit farm specializing in blue fruits high in antioxidants. Joyce has served on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). They live at an intentional community in SE Minnesota, in an alternative energy powered home (solar and wind). They have 2 adult children.

Janine GibsonJanine Gibson

Janine Gibson has served as an inspector in Canada and the Midwest US since 1993, accredited in Crop, Livestock and Processing inspections by IOIA since 1995, when she first became an IOIA trainer. Founding member of the IOIA Canadian Committee, she served on the IOIA BOD from 1995 to 2002, representing IOIA on the Canadian General Standards Board Organic Technical committee, and ensuring IOIA was granted a voting membership. Janine chairs the Organic Food Council of Manitoba- a chapter of Canadian Organic Growers (COG) and now represents OFCM on the Organic Technical Committee, chairing the Livestock Health Care Inputs Working Group. She has represented Manitoba on the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC) and currently serves on its Standards Interpretation Committee convened by the Canada Organic Office and the OFC. Janine studied at the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, has taught distance education courses in organic crop and livestock production and is often asked to present on organic issues and methods. A mother and grandmother, Janine lives on a small, off grid, mixed cooperative farm in SE Manitoba. 

Humberto GonzálezHumberto Gonzalez

Humberto González, Ingeniero Agrónomo, graduado de la Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, actualmente Gerente General para la oficina Regional de PrimusLab, ubicada en Costa Rica.  Ingeniero Agrónomo con especialidad en Desarrollo Rural Sostenible, productor orgánico y de hortalizas en invernadero.  Es inspector orgánico desde 1996 en producción agrícola, ganadería, apicultura y procesos orgánicos, es instructor del IOIA desde el 2006 con el cual ha desarrollado más de 25 cursos internacionales básicos y avanzados, ha trabajado en  evaluación de insumos orgánicos para varios  organismos de certificación internacional y actualmente director de certificación orgánica para el programa orgánico de PrimusLabs, Estados Unidos.  Adicionalmente es auditor en Buenas Prácticas Agricolas, Buenas Prácticas de Manufactura y HACCP en varios esquemas Europeos y de Estados Unidos, además es entrenador de auditores.  Brinda consultorías internacionales en temas relacionados con inocuidad, control de calidad, certificación y evaluación de insumos orgánicos.

Garry Lean

Garry LeanGarry Lean has a background in soil science and farming (beef, dairy, poultry, field crops and vegetables) and over 20 years of organic inspection experience in crops, livestock and processing (both in Canada and the United States). Other inspection experience includes GAP (Global Animal Partnership welfare auditing) and Non-GMO Project inspection. He is a Lead Trainer for IOIA Inspector training courses in all three IOIA Basic Courses and has contributed to the development and implementation of the webinars for the Pasture Rule and Non-GMO Project. He was a college professor in Agroecology/ Ecosystem Management for 25 years at Fleming College in Ontario, Canada.


Yutaka MaruyamaYutaka Maruyama

Yutaka Maruyama started working as independent organic inspector in 1998. He is mainly conducting JAS farm and processing inspections in Japan and overseas. Yutaka serves as Chair of Independent Organic Inspectors Association (JOIA); is a member of JAS standard committee board, and chief of Organic JAS section (2011-2012). He lives in Tokyo, Japan.



Yoko MizunoYoko Mizuno

Yoko Mizuno has 18 years of organic inspection experience in crops, livestock, processing, and aquatic products. Other inspection experience includes traceability, GAP, Product Information JAS, etc. She is a Trainer for IOIA Inspector training courses for IOIA Basic Courses. She is the establishing member of JOIA (Japan Organic Inspectors Association) and now serves as a councilor for JOIA. Regular committee member for MAFF and is an instructor at Chiba University, Horticulture Department. She has published 4 books on organic agriculture.


Kelly Monaghan

Kelly is an active organic inspector, consultant, trainer and board memberKelly Monaghan in Canada’s organic industry.   

Kelly is a past Chair of Canada’s Organic Technical Committee (the industry group that writes and revises the Canadian Organic Standard) and remains on that Committee as a representative of the International Organic Inspectors Association.  She has an MBA from York University in Toronto and can be reached via www.ashstreetorganics.com.

Lisa Pierce

Lisa Pierce of Down to Earth Agricultural Services grew up on a farm in central Alberta and has a degree in Environmental Science and diplomas in Integrated Pest Management and Adult Education. She has been an organic inspector since 1998 and an IOIA Trainer since 2007. In addition to ongoing work as an auditor and trainer, Lisa is currently working as a facilitator for the development of animal care assessment programs with the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) in Canada. Lisa has developed curriculum and delivered organic inspection training courses internationally for IOIA, and integrated pest management and other topics to colleges, non-profit groups and private companies since 1999. She worked to nurture regional trainer capacity in Korea and was the trainer at all of the early IOIA trainings in Korea, as well as trainings in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and other countries.

Nate Powell-Palm

Nate first landed in the world of organics when he applied for and received certification from the Montana Dept of Agriculture in 2008. He currently farms organic grains, grazes organic cattle, and is working to find that perfect dryland crop rotation. Since 2012, Nate has worked as an organic farm and livestock inspector, adding the processing scope in 2013. He has worked as a full time inspector since 2014, conducting inspections year round since then. A livestock expert with significant experience inspecting dairy operations, Nate is excited to help improve the auditing tools available to inspectors working with livestock around the country. Nate holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Montana State University.

Mutsumi Sakuyoshi

Mutsumi Sakuyoshi has been involved organic certification since 1992, as an independent inspector in Japan. She was IOIA trained in 1993 and has been an active trainer for both IOIA and JOIA since 1998. She was key in the establishment of Japan Organic Inspectors Association in 1997, which is the Sister organization of IOIA. Since then, almost once a year, JOIA/IOIA training has been held in Japan. Her inspection and training area has been expanded to other Asian countries, such as Hong Kong, Korea, India, China, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, etc. She is currently the representative director of JOIA and the director of Japan Organic Cotton Association, which is a stakeholder of GOTS(Global Organic Textile Standards). She has inspected for a many different certification agencies. Her training includes HACCP; Eurepgap; ISO9001 for Internal Auditor; and JAS Inspector Training. She currently chairs IOIA’s Asia-Pacific Committee. “I love to travel, meet various people and enjoy local foods where I visit. My favorite word is “diversity”. I am happy to share my knowledge and experience of organic inspections.”

Monique ScholzMonique Scholz

Monique Scholz is an experienced independent inspector based in southeastern Québec. Her diploma in farm management and diverse farming experiences, both conventional and organic, led her to take up organic inspections in 1990. She has continually upgraded her qualifications through ISO 9001 trainings, food chemistry and microbiology courses, and other training opportunities in the fields of standards, food, agriculture and culture. On several occasions, Monique has conducted audits of certification agencies. She has been active on the provincial accreditation board (CARTV) and on the IOIA board, as a founding member and returning board member. She has been training inspectors and industry quality control personnel since 1994, and has been instrumental in developing case-study based training materials. When not verifying labels or conducting in/out balances, she may be found in her garden or in the surrounding mountains, hiking with her dog!

Karen Troxell Karen Troxell

Karen Troxell, grew up in the Santa Maria Valley of California on a cattle ranch. She has worked in all fields of the organic industry from raising organic crops and livestock to managing organic processing plants. Karen has been inspecting organic crop farms and processing facilities for over 14 years as an independent inspector. She brings a wealth of practical experience to her work as a past co-manager of the Organic National and International Certifiers and as a Grower Group certification manager for citrus and avocado growers. Karen is active in today’s organic certification industry, working as a consultant, inspector and reviewer for several certification agencies. Karen is a co-founder of The Organic Consulting Firm. Karen also finds time to pursue her passion to work with Quarter horses and Paints.

Isidor Yu

Isidor YuIsidor ByeongDeok Yu works as a regular employee but part-time in program management and as reviewer for Control Union Certifications B.V., headquartered in The Netherlands. He has been involved in organic agriculture since 2001 at HSRI, Korea's first organic certification body. His inspection experience includes crops, livestock, and processing. In 2008, his work scope was expanded to organic textile products of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and OE, the general food safety and sustainability program for GLOBAL GAP (Good Agricultural Practices). He serves mostly in Korea and can train in English as well as Korean. He has been the primary organizer for IOIA in Korea since 2006, producing 2-3 trainings per year. He has trained producers and consumers as well as inspectors. He can also train for cosmetics, mushrooms, and aquaculture, and sustainability evaluation of textiles.

IOIA Presenters

Sarah FlackSarah Flack

Sarah has a diverse background in sustainable agriculture, which includes both on-farm and academic experience. She is nationally known for her public speaking, workshops, books and numerous articles on a range of agricultural topics.
Sarah Flack has worked and lived on diversified, organic and biodynamic dairy, livestock and vegetable farms; she has been an independent organic inspector since the mid 1990's, and she has helped many farms successfully convert to new farming systems.
Her current work includes writing, public speaking and consulting with farms and organization to help farmers transition to new methods of farming including grass based, diversified, and organic. She also works as an independent inspector of organic and biodynamic farms and processing facilities. She is the author of Organic Dairy Production, co-author of The Organic Dairy Handbook - a comprehensive guide for the transition and beyond and co-author ofTransitioning to Organic Dairy - a self assessment workbook, as well as many articles on farming and food. Her farming experience includes both organic and non-organic dairy, sheep, beef, pastured poultry, pigs, and lacto-fermented vegetables (sauerkraut and Kim chi).
Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Agriculture and Biology and Masters of Science in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont. She also has post graduate training in subjects including organic certification, business management, Holistic Management and organic production practices including: soil fertility, health care of livestock, animal welfare, medicinal herbs, cheese making, meat production, fermentation, and much "on-the-job" farm and processing experience.
When she is not traveling, Sarah lives in northern Vermont on her off-grid (photovoltaic) small farm. Sarah is grateful to live in a community which values great locally grown food and where she can be surrounded by cows grazing on beautiful pastures.

Silke Fuchshofen

Silke Fuchshofen holds a BSc. in International Agriculture and has been an independent full time organic and non-GMO Project processing inspector since 2008. Silke served on the IOIA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013. She co-developed the Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance program. Amongst other responsibilities, Silke has been in charge of System Plan, Inspection Report, Reviewer Forms and overall documentation procedures. She has served on the FairTSP Board of Directors since 2013. This training material is based on five years of observations and development of a methodology to address this issue in the framework of an organic inspection. 

Nathaniel Lewis

Nathaniel LewisNathaniel is OTA's Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist where he provides staff support to OTA's Farmer Advisory Council, on-the-ground outreach to OTA's organic farmer membership community, and analysis of policy issues that affect organic crop and livestock producers. Prior to his current position, Nathaniel served as Certification Coordinator for Washington State Dept. of Agriculture's organic certification program where he managed WSDA's material review program and gained certification experience in all scopes of organic production. Nathaniel’s responsibilities at WSDA also included coordination of their periodic residue sampling program.
Nathaniel holds a Bachelor’s of Science from The Evergreen State College with a focus in agricultural science and organic chemistry. He completed IOIA Livestock Training in Twin Falls, Processing ID (March 2011) and Washington Organic Recycling Council’s Compost Facility Operator Training in Puyallup, WA (2004). He currently sits on the WSDA Organic Advisory Council and Washington Organic Recycling Council's Board of Directors.
Nathaniel and his wife, Melissa Barker, have managed their own farm for the last decade growing vegetables for a CSA program, certified organic pastured broilers, and sheep, cattle, and swine. They have recently shifted focus towards forage based production, and currently raise grass-fed lamb and beef for direct-to-consumer sales.

Johanna MirendaJohanna Mirenda

Johanna Mirenda is the Technical Director at the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Johanna's responsibilities include overseeing OMRI's policies and standards, developing OMRI’s research and education programs, and managing special projects including Technical Reports for the USDA National Organic Program. Johanna has been working in the organic industry since 2009, focusing primarily on input material review. Prior to OMRI, she served as the Policy Director for Pennsylvania Certified Organic, a USDA-accredited organic certification agency. Johanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Horticultural Science with a minor in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University, and is currently enrolled in a master’s program in Sustainable Food Systems at Green Mountain College. She’s studied agriculture and ecology in Peru and New Zealand, and has several years of academic research experience in plant nutrition.

Pam SullivanPam Sullivan

Pam Sullivan has been inspecting full time since 2005. She focuses on crop and processing inspection and completes, on average, 180 inspections a year across US and Canada. Wineries are a specialty, and she also owes a vineyard in Carmel Valley, CA, where she lives. Pam has been a presenter for IOIA as an assistant trainer, and serves on the BOD as treasurer. In the past Pam did part time work for CCOF as a file reviewer.