Our Mission: To address issues and concerns relevant to organic inspectors, to provide quality inspector training, and
to promote consistency and integrity in the organic certification process.


2017 IOIA AGM - Celebrating 25 Years!

IOIA will celebrate its 2017 Annual General Meeting and 25th anniversary in Ottawa on
March 25. The meeting will be led by Stuart McMillan from Manitoba. For the first time in IOIA history, an BOD Chair from Canada will lead the Annual Meeting in Canada.

Ottawa, the capital city and the fourth largest city there, will be celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017. The historic Lord Elgin Hotel, located in the heart of downtown, was selected as the host venue for both the AGM and advanced training. The locally owned hotel is celebrating its own 75th anniversary with a major renovation of all lodging rooms this year.
more about the venue

Event Schedule Overview
March 22: field trips to regional certified organic operations
March 23-24: advanced organic inspector training
March 25: Annual General Meeting and 25th anniversary gala
March 26: Cultural field trips
March 27-28-29: Board of Directors working retreat

Annual Meeting Information

The 25th anniversary annual meeting will begin at 12 noon with lunch for all registered IOIA members and guests, followed by an opening welcome by the Canada Organic Trade Association. A thought-provoking Keynote will be delivered by Jim Thomas, ETC Group, Montreal, Quebec “GMO2.0:  Synthetic Biology and  the next generation of genetic engineering technologies”.  The business meeting will open about 2 p.m. and end at 5:30 p.m., after an Endnote by Joe Smillie, founding Board member of IOIA. Appetizers and beverages, and Music by Mystara will end the gala evening.  

Draft AGM Agenda   Keynote and Endnote Speaker Bios
Online Registration Link   AGM Registration form (only for those not registering online)

2016 Annual Report

Sample Ballot Proxy form Candidate Bios and Statements

Entertainment  - We are thrilled to offer Tara Heft aka Mystara as our live entertainment for IOIA's 25th Anniversary AGM Party!

Although classically trained, Mystara’s original music embraces the flavours of many different genres and cultures. A blend of Roots, Soul, and Rock n’ Roll meet strong influences of R&B with elements of  Eastern, Celtic and Jazz to create an eclectic mixture of sound and style.  This special sonic brew offers a colorful cocktail of musical flavours for her listeners to enjoy.  

Advanced Training Opportunities

Inspectors can select one or two sessions on Day 1 of the training and can take Day 1 or 2 separately. Day 1 will end with a session on “Technology Tips Inspectors can Use” that will be open to all participants, and those arriving during the day for the training events and AGM.

Session 1, March 23 A.M. Poultry Topics for inspectors – This session will cover the significant standards revisions being implemented this year in Canada and new animal welfare standards just published in the USA. Poultry auditor Leanne Cooley will address control points for organic inspectors.

Session 2, March 23 P.M. Container Growing – This session will include an expert in greenhouse production; a producer from one of Ontario’s finest organic greenhouse operations, Erieview Acres; and NOSB member Dr. Jean Richardson to speak on the NOSB recommendation on container growing and what is happening in the US under the NOP.


Dr. Jochen NeuendorffDay 2, March 24 will open with presentations by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canada Organic Office with issues for organic verification officers/inspectors. Dr. Jochen Neuendorff will lead 5-6 hours of training on Risk-based Inspections. He was invited from Germany to speak after several organic inspectors who participated in web-based training with him recommended him. His presentations will be valuable to those inspecting processing facilities, livestock or crops.

Final Training Agenda

Training Speaker Bios

Field Trips

Two field trip days are planned. Twice past BOD member Monique Scholz of Quebec volunteered to spearhead the field trips to organic operations.

On March 22, field trips are scheduled to area certified organic operations. Click here for full details.

On March 26, a cultural field trip is planned to FULTONS PANCAKE house, a certified maple producer. 

There will be other groups organizing for cultural field trips to enjoy the many attractions.
There are many National Historic Sites of Canada in Ottawa, including the stunning Parliament Buildings (gothic revival architecture). The city’s national museums and galleries include the National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian War Museum. The Canadian Museum of History, across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, is the most visited museum in Canada. Designed by Canadian aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal, the complex also houses the Canadian Children’s Museum, Canadian Postal Museum, and a 3D IMAX theatre. Since 1969, Ottawa has been the home of the National Arts Centre, a major performing arts venue that houses four stages and is home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lyra Ottawa.

Lord Elgin Hotel photoMore about the venue
Features include a fitness center, pool, whirlpool, sauna, and an onsite restaurant - Grill 41. The meeting room for the annual meeting is the Lady Elgin Room with historic paintings and large windows overlooking Confederation Park. The IOIA rate is a very attractive $169/night, plus 3% DMF and 13% HST, totaling just under $200 CAD or about $150 US. Shared room options will make it affordable for all IOIA members. The current US-CAD currency exchange makes this especially attractive for US members. Taxis are about $30 from airport.

Ottawa is on-board to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary!

Ottawa sits at the confluence of three major rivers: the Ottawa River, the Gatineau River and the Rideau River. The city neighbors Gatineau, Quebec. The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city name “Ottawa” is derived from the Ottawa River, which is a word derived from the Algonquin word “Odawa”, meaning “to trade”, according to Alan Rayburn (2001), Naming Canada: Stories About Canadian Place Names.