In the IFOAM book 2004 I found the Thai controller of our Competitor: ACT. They were an IFOAM accredited certifier. I called to IFOAM headquarters in Germany and asked them how often they visited Thailand. I was wrong. It turned out that there is a USA based organisation that is doing this job for IFOAM. I did not call them prior to my own trip to Thailand, as I did not want to alert anybody.
So what exactly is the Soil Association trade mark doing on all these labels. Wouldn’t it be more transparant and meaningful if there would be the Thai controller’s name on the label ? This at least gives a hint of the real situation: A giant Thai Conglomerate is controlled by a bunch of youngsters a few hundred kilometers away. These youngsters are in turn controlled by some unknown USA chaps who will take the blame if not all is as it seems. IFOAM has no risk. Soil Association sells his name but takes no responsability.