This was the most remarkable statement I heard at Biofach. I heard it from the IOAS director and from the assistant director. The interesting question then is: WHY ?
Their answers to that question were vague and not convincing: it would be to expensive. This clearly cannot be the case: unannounced visits are the most efficient way to find fraudulent producers. (Almost the only way !)
It looks as if IOAS directors are afraid that with BETTER CONTROL a lot of members will not find it attractive anymore to stay in IOAS. Why could that be?
Well, it could be that fraudulent members do not like better controls.
Does that mean that 50 % of their members are fraudulent ?
I spoke to quite a few certifiers, and all of them make use of local controllers. They find it OK to have confidence in these local controllers. The local controllers go to the farms and fill in the questionnaires. These lists are sent to England or Germany or Italy for instance ( Soil Association, BCS, BioAgriCert ) and there is decided weather the farms are really organic. IF the local controller would forget to check weather the seeds were treated with chemicals, and then decide to score 'not treated', no certifiers in Europe would ever find out, as they hardly ever see a field themselves.