Complaint about the NN-company sent to the Soil Association

On march 14, 2006 we did send our complaint about NN to the Brittish certifier SA. We had been in contact with SA since october 2005. We tried to find out how often these people visited the NN farms. We became convinced that not even one employee ever visited a field from NN. Mr. Hardy told us: the boss of NN is a very friendly man You go there and then they will give you the adresses of the farms. I cannot give these adresses to you. That would not be nice to NN’s boss. Of course if you go on a fact finding tour, checking the integrity of your host, you never go on a guided tour with this host. This simple commonly known fact is not yet known with organic certifiers. The most positive qualification I can give is: they are naive.

First message from SA: Complaint received.

We see that Mr.Duxbury is very friendly in this letter. Appearances. I have tried to speak to Duxbury many times, but he never came to the phone. After about 10 times trying, he came to the phone. I asked him: how much time do you have for me? he said: 1 minute. At Biofach I have made an appointment with him for saturday. When I came that saturday to the SA stand a collegue told me he had gone back to England that morning. At least this email is quick and friendly, and it promises a quick answer to my complaint.

Last message from SA: complaint received

Indeed: since 17 march we never heard anything anymore from SA. Because we were busy with our own farms we did not spend time to it. When we made contact again around end of october we got the news that Mr. Hardy had left SA since august this summer. Mr. Duxbury had left SA since june. The personal Assistant of Mr. Duxbury did remember vaguely that this summer someone had gone to Thailand to follow up my complaint. ( By then the corn was probably already sold somewhere in Munich, but nevertheless: SA took a trip to Thailand to look for chemicallyt treated seeds!)


They promised us an answer by april.Ten months later we did not yet receive anything.

At Biofach I did spend some time at the SA stand, while waiting for mr. Hardy (who also kept postponing jis appointments with me.) The SA stand was small,and mostly empty. But around it were always people waiting. The desk was filled with paper-messages like: Please contact me, I need to speak to you, …. ) One time there was a friendly woman ( Helen Davies) who was a new employee at SA since two months. I sat down with her and started talking to her about my case. During this one hour with her we were interrupted about six times. Two of them struck me: A woman from Greece (if I remember it well) and a man from Rumania came with an identical question: “Would it be possible that their Greek (Rumanian) Certification Organisation would do the controlling in their own country, and would SA be willing to give their SA Certificate to the products. This would be best: it would be cheaper, as the SA controllers would not have to travel to Greece or Rumania.