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CommunicatorOrganic Crop Improvement Association International

Spring Issue 2011

News From OCIA Mexico & NicaraguaJulio Gonzalez, OCIA Mexico

Almost 15 years ago OCIA International established our first operations in Mexico. In the beginning, OCIAs presence in Mexico was through chapters in several states of Mexico. Through the years, only one chapter in Mexico was operating in the state of Oaxaca. OCIA continued operating this way for several years until 2005, when a Regional Office was opened. In 2009 OCIA decided to fully consolidate its presence in Mexico and started the process of registration as a foreign organization doing business in Mexico. In February of 2011, OCIA International Inc. obtained full registration from the Mexican tax authority and is now recognized as a foreign entity legally operating in Mexico, directly assuming and complying with Mexican law pertaining to our operations. Additionally, Mexican authorities have recognized the legal status of OCIA as a not-for-profit organization, which will allow OCIA to continue providing the same level of rigorous and independent third party certification without compromising its decision to personal interests. During the following months, OCIA

will continue the application process of obtaining our accreditations as a certification body from the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture. This will be a major step for OCIA as OCIA will add another certification program to our already expansive portfolio of certification programs offered. The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture will be notifying all certification agencies operating in Mexico of the process of registration and steps to cover. Furthermore, OCIA International is also in the process of regularizing its status as a certification body in Nicaragua. For the past 13 years OCIA International has been operating as an organic certification body, and in 2003 OCIA International Inc. was legally registered in Nicaragua as an International Non Governmental Organization. Since October of 2010, the OCIA Nicaragua office has been in the process of updating our accreditation to the Ministry of Agriculture, and in February of 2011 OCIA Nicaragua received its certificate of compliance from the Nicaraguan Ministry of Agriculture and the Nicaraguan General Directorate of Revenues. Also, in February of 2011 OCIA Nicaragua submitted is application for accreditation as a certification body to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Nicaragua, and will undergo an in-office audit in April

of 2011. We are confident that OCIA International will meet all the requirements set by the Nicaraguan authorities to continue providing excellent customer service to our current and potential OCIA associates. In the OCIA Latin America office, we are committed to providing the same level of customer service and to provide our current associates with the expertise in certification that OCIA International main office offers to its North America associates. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at: Mexico: Julio Gonzalez Nicaragua: Maria Medina

Whats InsidePresidents Message..............2 Canada Report......................3 OCIA R&E ...........................6&7 Annual Meeting..................8 & 9 Directory...........................13-16



Message from the Presidentstructure that was approved. After many years of our user fees being sales based the change was made this year to an acreage based fee structure. The Board is working in May and then later in the year ANSI will be in to audit as well. They are also getting ready to

quickly to finalize the details and the staff will be ready to begin implementation. This new structure should make us more costPeggy Linzmeier, OCIA President

receive files from the North American regions. As our past President noted-all files will go through a Pre-Inspection Review

competitive in the organic certification world. Our hope is to be able to bring in more members with this new structure. Another program that works in conjunction with this is our New Member

this year as a result of our last NOP audit. Our Director of Accreditation Lisa Schroedl has been kept busy with the process needed for OCS to be approved through the NOP so that it may begin operations. The OCS Board of Directors has been active in making sure that process is completed.

Hello from snowy Wisconsin! Yestoday as I write this we are about

to receive 6 inches of heavy, wet snow. Thankfully at this time of the year it doesnt last long. The moisture shall be good for the upcoming crop season. It wont be long and most of us will be busy

Referral Plan. Funded by the 2010 OCIA Board of Directors, this program gives a $50 credit to a renewing member who refers a new member to OCIA. Full details are available here in this issue of the

As I close my first message to you as President I thank you for the opportunity to serve you. I wish you all a safe planting season.

getting out into the fields. Some of our members who garden are probably busy starting their seedlings. The Board of Directors has been

Communicator, through all chapters and also through the OCIA International office. I personally feel that this is the best organization

Photos NeededThe OCIA Promotions Committee will be working on a calendar for 2012. Please join the friendly competition and submit a photo by emailing it to Angie Tunink at Please include a short description of your photo and names of people in the photo. If your photo is featured in the 2012 calendar, you will receive an 8x10 glossy copy of your photo.

busy sorting through all of the happenings from this years AGMM. Its been a little less than a month since its close and already

out there and look forward to welcoming many new members this year.

our committees will begin their work for the year. I and OCIA thank all

Other happenings for the Board of Directors include following through

of you who have volunteered your time to serve on a committee. Our

on the Directives given in the Policy Session at this years AGMM. These have all been added to our agenda and we will begin to do the work of putting them in place.

organization would not be complete without all of you. Arguably the biggest news from the

AGMM is the change in fee

At this time the staff is gearing up for accreditation visits from IOAS

2 2

OCIA Canada Report* Maintaining the long standing collegiality between Canadian and all other OCIA producers, processors and handlers from around the world. * Improving expertise on Canadian regulations, standards and practices. * Developing an accreditation for OCIA Canada OR a structure enabling OCIA Canada to effectively meet the certification needs of Canadian operators. * Operational independence, including the hiring, training and management of staff located in Canada. * Financial management. Includes increased discretion over spending, option to set own fees consistent with obligations to OCIA International and OCS budgets and provision of year end financial statement and budget. * Concerns of the auditor re: written agreement defining the relationship between OCIA Canada, OCIA International and OCS. * Proposed implementation timeline. * Developing an improved communication structure between OCIA International, OCS, OCIA Canada, chapters and members. As Clark Phillips states: We want to work this out so its a benefit to not only the chapters in Canada, but to International in general. As we come into this point where countries develop their own national standards, this could serve as a model for other countries within OCIA International. We are hopeful this will bring us to a new rebirth for OCIA International. OCIA is attempting to lessen the paperwork needed for certification. This year there is the initial Organic System Plan(OSP) along with an Annual Update. For this year, both the Organic System Plan(OSP) application as well as the OSP Annual Update must be completed. Next year, only the Annual Update will be required for recertification, unless you are a new member. Current field histories, maps etc will still be required. We are hopeful this will be quicker, easier and more efficient. PIRs-pre-inspection reviews, will be completed on every file this year. We are anticipating the certification process to go faster as the initial review has already been done. The Canadian Organic Products Regulations came into force on June 30, 2009. In order to ensure an orderly implementation of the regulations, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, CFIA, adopted a stream of commerce and enforcement policy. The objective of this policy was to provide some flexibility and time for the government and the industry to adapt to the new mandatory organic certification system. This soft and educational approach to enforcement is scheduled to end in June 2011. Best wishes to you all for a safe and prosperous growing season. Ruth Baumann OCIA Canada

Ruth Baumann, OCIA Canada

Hello friends. We, here in Humboldt, are still looking out our windows and see snow piled up over 3 feet high. But I know that sometime soon, spring is here. The 2011 AGMM took place at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City. What a beautiful setting for the meeting. Most of you have heard that one of the biggest changes is our fee structure. User fees have been eliminated for all products produced 2011 and after. If you have inventory in bins, from 2010 and prior, those will still be subject to the user fees. Also, fees are now acreage based fees. Please contact your chapter for more information and/or for your 2011 certification cost. Another hot topic of discussion was the OCIA Canada motion. The motion is to enter