Organic auditing plays vital role in upholding principles of organic farming
As Latin American countries are major exporters of organic products, upholding the principles of organic farming is important there too. Take Ecuador, a country that ships among others bananas and cocoa beans to the EU. David Flores of Kiwa BCS in Ecuador has been an organic auditor for 16 years. We asked him how he experiences and values his job and how organic certification contributes to society.
No day is the same
As an auditor, David visits many farmers and companies, although during the Corona pandemic these “visits” are often done remotely. Still, an audit remains an audit, he explains: “My colleagues and I compare the information a farm operator provides with what we observe. We combine all data to determine whether the farm meets the requirements of a regulation. That’s a very dynamic job. Also, we never finish learning; there are always new types of crops and processes, new systems and changes in regulations that we have to know about.”
All in all, not a single day is the same for David. “Much depends on what and where I audit. I might have to leave very early or even travel the day before. A field visit generally takes a good part of the day. Afterwards, I’ll have to gather information or resolve pending issues and prepare reports. The paperwork is quite demanding and it can be cumbersome sometimes, but in return, I visit lots of different companies and meet interesting people. That’s very enriching.”
Being part of a company’s development
As an auditor, one regularly visits companies over an extended period of time. As market demands, applicable regulations and the mere scale of organic farming have greatly changed, so did companies, David observes. “I have seen organisations I met 16 years ago grow, improve their processes and strengthen themselves. In some cases, we started together: me, carrying out my first audits, and them, wanting to obtain organic certification for the first time. Now they are solid companies that are well aware of what they are doing. It feels like a privilege to be part of their history.”
Principles of organic food production
According to David, we should keep sharing the belief in the principles of organic production. “Producers need to comply with organic standards and deliver healthy products that do not pollute the planet and help consumers make well-considered decisions. Certification agencies like Kiwa help organizations with this. Sustainability is becoming ever more important, in society and at Kiwa. We play a vital role in upholding the principles of organic farming.”
Organic certification by Kiwa
The terms “organic” and “eco” in food, like Certificación Orgánica Ecuador (Spanish), are legally protected. It should be ensured that they are used in accordance with the law. Consumer protection, fair competition and transparency are important aspects and are ensured by inspections of food products. Globally many farmers, processors, distributors, importers, exporters of organic food rely on Kiwa regarding inspection and certification of their products.
Read more about our organic certification services here.