When you look at an Organic label, you may not know that someone had to visit the operation that made that product or raised that food. These humble people are the Organic Inspectors, and today we’ll be talking to Margaret Scoles executive director of the International Organic Inspectors association. She has been an Organic inspector for over thirty years and has recently been awarded the 2018 Growing Organic Industry award by the Organic Trade Association.
Listen To The Show
- Margaret worked her way through college as a plant breeder
- It was in 1988 that Margaret became an Organic Inspector, has celebrated her 30th anniversary inspecting!
- When Margaret was 12, her Aunt passed along copies of the Rodale Farming Magazine
- Her inspection work started with an add in a newspaper
- An Organic Inspector does not make decisions for Certifications, they only report observations to the Certification Agency who makes decisions
- While you gain numerous observations though walking through the farm, some of the most useful information comes from talking to the farmer
- The International Organic Inspectors Association is a educational non-profit and membership organization that trains Organic Inspectors around the world
- IOIA has members in 12 different countries
- There are a few variations from country to country, for example Japan doesn’t have Organic Standards for Livestock, and the US Certifies Hydroponics
- Margaret was a founding board member of IOIA
- The organization started at a mandatory meeting for inspectors, and several of them got together and formed a steering community for what would become IOIA
- The USDA Organic Program helped provide a consistent standard at a time when there were many various standards