16 Feb 2006. Biofach part 2EE
Mr. Alberto Pipo Lernoud, vice- president of IFOAM
So I spoke to Mr. Alberto Pipo Lernoud, vice- president of IFOAM. I told him my story. I also told him: now I have this website and will not go to the press, but I do want IFOAM to change their ways. He said: There are a lot of frauds every year, which does not hurt IFOAM. Also: it is a democratic organisation. If you want something to change, you must write a letter to the ‘Standards Committee” of IFOAM. They can maybe do it. I kept saying that he is more powerful in this organisation, and that he should do it. He said: You write the letter, send it to me and I will bring it in the Committee.
That is fine.
He also said: You seem to threaten me. That does not work. I said: I am not threatening you; I am only informing you that I could go bankrupt after 26 years of working and that it is because there is inadequate controlls. If the controlls stay inadequate, I will go to the press with my story and also I will look for much more frauds. What else should I do?
He is a friendly man; He gave me adresses in Peru and Brasil where I can buy corn if I like to.
David Crucefix, assistant executive director of IOAS.
I explained to Mr Crucefix the whole story: how impossible it is to find the adresses of the farms where my competitor grows his corn, How useless it is to tell to the Soil Association and to him (IOAS) about what I found and where I found it: if they announce their check-visit (If even they do that themselves, which they normally will not, I think) the evidence will be gone by the time they get out of the plane. If not: maybe only one field will be taken out for 2 years. All the other fields (20 fields? 40 fields ? 60 fields ?) will all go on producing. I told him that there are more doubts that I have, like: where do they get their Nitrogene from ? I told him about that the 2 fields that were prepared for seeding. They had only 600 kilograms of organic fertilizer on them. They need 7.000 kilograms, if they want to have the necessary 105 kg of N. But I cannot look in their books. He said: We can ask all these questions. If necessary we will go there and have a look. He sounded thrustworthy.
I have hammered on : Transparancy and unannounced inspections. All producing farmers should be on the internet.
All farmers should be inspected unannounced at least once a year. That should become the rule.’
To this last rule Mr. Crucefix’s reaction was surprising: ” Then more than half of our clients will leave” HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE ? WHAT COULD BE THE REASON FOR T HAT ? (EXCEPT FRAUD )
Mr. Crucefix kept asking: what should we do, what is your suggestion?
I kept answering: openness/ transparancy.and unexpected visits. I gave another example of the lack of transparancy: who certifies my competitor : Is it S.A. or both: S.A. and IOAS ? Because ACT is IFOAM accredited since 2002. He said: yes, they are: and he pointed to the wall with about 40 icons of their clients.
I had a good feeling about this conversation. He said that he as a vice director was THE man to speak to about these matters, He invited me to file a claim to him or to SA or to both, and then he can start the investigation.
I decided to do that: now I have published on the internet what I found, and thus it has no use anymore: nobody will go there with me to look at this field. Also now the remains of the seeds may be untraceable. But it could be that other newly seeded fields do have treated seeds. Althoug I think that they will be alarmed one of these days.
ECOCERT in Northeim
Finally today I spoke to two young people that work for ECOCERT in Northeim. They were not very talkative, but said that they agreed with me, they gave me a ood tip: These days ‘Brussels” is creating new rules for organic farming. I could go there and lobby. I think I should do that:the commission for agriculture is the place to be.