16 Feb 2006. First day at Biofach. 1.
I first attended a presentation about Eastern European organic farming. Looked as if it all was still very small and unprofessional. The prices for organic were ranging from –same as conventional untill 6 times the price ( imported organic tomatoes compared to home grown conventional.)
Ken Commins, IOAS
Then I attended a presentation by Ken Commins, the director of IOAS, I understand that there are a lot of certifying standards in the world, and they want to create more unity and possibilities to compare them. Then one can say to a certifier : “He, all the others take this as a norm, you are the odd one out. Please can you conform to the rest.” Before the presentation I had introduced myself to mr. Commins, and he agreed to speak to me one of these days. He still insisted that filing a complaint against my Competitor is necessary. Of course I felt the urge to ask him: Mr. Commins, all these complicated bla bla is nonsense if you leave the door open wide for all who like to fraud.
A JONA certifier
Before the presentation of Mr Commins I spoke to a Japanese man: Toshiaki Takahashi, working for JONA, a Japanese certifier, who does work abroad, but not in Thailand. firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Simmons, Int. Certifications Services
On leaving the room I did speak to Robert Simmons, because Mr Commins called him familiarly Robert when he asked a question. I thought it could be Robert Duxbury from SA. He is from Inernational Certification services. INC. from Medina in North Dakota. www.ics-intl.com I gave him my organicfraud.org card and told my story. He agreed that it could be a big problem, and advised me to go on with my fight. I don’t know if he means it, but I just take it to be so.
After that I went to have a look in the exhibition rooms 4 and 1. I saw the Thai stand, and a few products of my competitor. Also the sweetcorn. I noticed that some Thai were certified by Bio Agri Cert. I will go to see them and ask how often they visit Thailand.
I saw of course many Chinese. Many of them are certified by BCS which is based in Nurnberg! Agrior, Israel: Mrs. Neri Lahad. I spoke to a woman from the biggest Israeli certifier
Agrior. Mrs Neri Lahad
She said that all Israeli farmers are on a list on the internet, but in Hebrew. I asked for a list in latin written text, but forgot what she replied. Maybe it exists already partly. They do about 5 % of the inspections unannounced. I keep advocating: Why not all visits ? I keep giving them the Skal (Dutch Certifier) information: 2900 inspectionvisits a year lead to nothing, exept those few that are unanounced: they give 4 frauds. Another 4 frauds are the result of neighbours warning Skal. Together 8 frauds in a year. Why spend all this money on visits that do not stop the frauds ?
Peter Brul, consultant, Holland
Then I spoke to Peter Brul, a Dutch consultant who is around as long as I am in organic Holland. I told him what I was so angry about and what I was doing . He said that ‘ It can very well be true that there is quite a lot of fraud because of this inadequate controle and because of dishonest local certifiers.’ I thougt he was quite open.