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Organic produce: Independent Organic Inspectors Association

The Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) is a non-profit association of farm inspectors dedicated to to verifying practices of organic production.

The IOIA was founded in 1996 by a group of organic inspectors that recognized the necessity of using processes and protocols of inspection for organic agriculture to increase inspector skills and promote public confidence in the food.

The association works to develop policies related to organic inspection and inspector skills, operating with state, regional, provincial and international certification agencies, as well as organizations like the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

The IOIA offers basic inspection courses worldwide for agriculture, livestock and organic processing (they include classes and discussion groups on inspection visits and reports practices); and advanced courses for experienced inspectors.

  • Courses for organic farm inspectors: include instruction about the certification process, information about organic standards, inspection of organic farms, farm processing, inspection of livestock, requirements for an audit path, regulations, evaluation of risk, investigation skills, editing of reports and ethical considerations.
  • Courses of processing for organic inspectors: instruction about how to inspect a processing plant, processing standards and organic food handling, management of organic quality, HACCP, control of an audit, regulatory requests, management of plagues, cleaning and disinfection of installations, report writing and inspection protocols.
  • Courses for organic inspectors of livestock: include instruction about how to inspect livestock, including meat and milk, birds (meat and eggs) and handling of honey; livestock standards; inspection of processing plants; audit requests; and animal health.

The IOIA relies on a code of ethics and a code of conduct to which the applicants for inspector must comply.