Alliance Observatory Program Manager welcomed

The Alliance welcomes Robin Fransella as Program Manager of the Alliance Organic Supply Chain Observatory project.

A highly qualified Project Manager with extensive experience in the organic community, Robin had previously led the International Section of the Organic Team at UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and represented the UK in the EU and at the UN on organic legislation. He was also a trainer for the EU and was involved in trade negotiations with India and USA. Thereafter, he worked for Defra on implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the UK, providing guidance on the greening agenda for land use and undertaking a review of the UK’s land mapping, a role that also included substantial program and project management.

Robin has recently become a Master of Law (Public International Environmental Law) from Utrecht University.

Earlier in his career, Robin was in the IT Division of the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), as part of the team writing the program for UK implementation of the CAP.

Bo Van Elzakker, AOI Board Member and head of the Observatory Project, expressed his pleasure in having Robin join the organization. “We very much welcome Robin joining us to manage this crucial project of the Alliance, bringing his prodigious experience from both inside and outside organic, and which provides an ideal foundation for the Observatory”.

Francis Blake, President of the Alliance, added, “the Observatory aims to be a global multi-stakeholder initiative which seeks to identify, and thereby helps to rectify, systemic weaknesses or ‘hotspots’ in the organic supply chain.  Both we and Robin look forward to working with our Partners and others to deliver this objective”.

Read more about the Alliance Observatory project here.

For more information, please contact:

– Bo van Elzakker on b.vanelzakker@agroeco.net or +31 6 50 61 52 25

– Robin Fransella on observatory@alliancefororganicintegrity.bio or +31 6 12 45 70 10

– Francis Blake on blake@alliancefororganicintegrity.bio or +44 7973 955429

The Alliance for Organic Integrity’s mission is to improve the quality of organic claims through education on best certification and accreditation practices, to develop tools for preventing fraud and to share these tools and educational components with all those involved, so as to enhance trust in the organic guarantee system. As the organic market is international in nature, this requires an international effort – we work with partners to promote these solutions and to work towards implementing the necessary changes.

 

Organic World Congress 2021 

September 2021 –  Francis Blake, Alliance President gave a presentation “Growing Organic Trust – Improving Conformity Assessment in Organic Production Systems.”

For the full presentation please click here.

For information on the IFOAM Organic World Congress please click here.

Coordinator appointed to the Alliance

February 2021 – The Alliance announced the appointment of Gina Lumauig as Coordinator effective this month. Born and raised in the Philippines, Gina also lived in the United States before returning back to her home country, where she actively pursued her career as a Communications Professional.

An active member of the Slow Food Philippines, she also has been pushing for organic farming in her country, and through her expertise in public relations and writing, hopes that more people will embrace this concept and be involved.

Francis Blake, Alliance President, said that “With Gina joining us, we are hoping to focus on refining our communication channels, and bring in more partners and donors.”

For her part, Gina remarked that “working with the Alliance will definitely expand my knowledge on organic integrity, a fairly new concept in our country. It will be a welcome challenge as well for me to collaborate with the Board through its e-Learning workshops and seminars.”

February 2021 Presentation

The Alliance was featured in two sessions of Biofach’s e-Special Congress on 17-19 February.

First was organised by Alliance Partner, Organic Services, titled ‘Different perspectives on organic integrity and fraud prevention…’. The seminar discussed fraud and fraud prevention from various perspectives, including legal issues, whistle blowing, the anatomy of fraud, data intelligence, mass balancing, geodata, and others.

Alliance President Francis Blake kicked off the session with a presentation on ‘Organic Integrity Mapping.’ This was a whistle-stop tour of the integrity landscape, looking at who does what and where are the gaps that need addressing. Following presentations were given by Dr John Spink of the Food Fraud Prevention Thinktank, Peter Whelan of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Jochen Kleboth of Intact GmbH, and finally Gerald Herrmann of Organic Services GmbH.

On the last day of the Special Congress, Bo van Elzakker of Agro Eco, AFI, AOI discussed the Grower Group Certification.

For more information on the other presentations, please contact Gerald Hermann at Organic Services.

Staffing Update

November 2020

The Alliance for Organic Integrity (AOI or the Alliance) was founded in 2019 by IOAS to foster and develop the integrity of the international organic guarantee system in areas that go beyond accreditation which is the sole focus of IOAS. It is registered in th USA as a 501.c.3 non-profit
organisation and has been given a founding grant by IOAS.

A five-strong Board of Directors manages and directs the Alliance. Two of these are appointed by IOAS. IFOAM-Organics International has been invited to nominate a third Board member. We are proud that both organisations are recognised as Founding Partners.

The Alliance is a start up, still finding its feet, still establishing its structures and its key activities in what is a fast developing sector, and amid the added complications of the Covid pandemic. As such we are continuing to work on developing the most appropriate staffing arrangements to move beyond the voluntary phase of a new organisation towards action-centred expansion.

We were lucky that Jan Deane, former Executive Director (Operations) of IOAS, was available to take the administrative reins from our founding to the summer of 2020. She passed the baton on to Konrad Hauptfleisch, former Academy and Programs Manager at IFOAM-OI, for a temporary contract until the end of the year.

We are now seeking to appoint a more permanent Coordinator for the organisation, as well as Project Managers for our first two projects. Please watch this space…

September 2020 Workshop

For some time now, the Alliance for Organic Integrity has been busy in the background, both with getting its own structures and systems in place, and with doing groundwork in a few of its key identified work areas. Like so many others, the COVID-19 crisis has affected our work in the recent months. In September, the time came for us to not only introduce you to the new team members and recent developments, but also to actively seek your input in the key work areas of the Alliance. We value your opinions and suggestions, as these are critical in achieving our goal of ‘strengthening organic assurance globally’. To this end, we held a short series of virtual workshops over 21 and 22 September 2020, covering the following topics:
• Introducing the Alliance
• Opportunities to harmonize EU and US/NOP Grower Group rules (AOI Project Area 1)
• Opportunities to harmonize EU and US/NOP organic import rules (AOI Project Area 1)
• Fraud Hotline & hotspots (AOI Project Area 3);
• Mapping the way forward for the Alliance and its network

Please click here for the complete presentation covering the two days, together with a selection of responses to the questions raised during sessions. 

If you’d like to know more, please contact info@alliancefororganicintegrity.bio for more information.

The Alliance for Organic Integrity appoints an Executive Director

Our young organization takes the next step in development

Bonn, Germany July 17, 2020 – The Board of The Alliance for Organic Integrity (AOI or the Alliance), is excited to announce the appointment of Konrad Hauptfleisch as Executive Director. This appointment is the next step of growth and development for the young organization. AOI’s focus is to strengthen the organic assurance system globally, and is proposing and promoting a range of solutions and tools to achieve improved integrity in the growing organic marketplace.

Konrad has over 15 years’ experience in the organic sector, and is well- known in the movement for his last 8 years as manager and lead trainer at the Organic Academy of IFOAM
– Organics International. Previous to that, he was deeply involved not only in standards development, policy and advocacy, but also working closely with farmers and farmers’ market communities, and ensuring their compliance with requirements for marketable quality and organic integrity.

He is an accomplished facilitator and communicator, and will be active in building partnerships with organizations throughout the sector that share the Alliance’s integrity-driven mission.

Alliance President, Francis Blake, said, “Organic integrity is key to the survival and sustainable growth of the organic market, and more organic is a vital component in improving the health
of people and the environment, which is needed today more than ever. We are delighted that we are welcoming Konrad to lead the Alliance forward at this critical time. ”

Konrad said, “This is both a challenge and something of a dream job, helping this new organization establish its presence and achieve its important goals. I am looking forward to working with interested parties and potential partners to maximize our collective impact-
together, we are better able to ensure a positive future for organic – the benchmark for truly sustainable agriculture.”

Paula Aberasturi joins Alliance Board

June 2020 – We are delighted to announce the appointment of Paula Aberasturi to the Alliance Board, which brings the Board to its full complement of 5 members. Paula lives in the Philippines and is an organic farmer and qualified lawyer. She has been intimately involved in the development of the organic and Slow Food movements in the Philippines at both grass roots and government level over the last 10 years. Paula is also an alumna of IFOAM’s Organic Leadership Masters Program.

“We are so pleased that Paula is joining the Alliance Board,” said Francis Blake, President. “She brings a completely different perspective to the table, and we look forward to benefiting from both her Asian experience and her legal expertise as we get stuck into working on issues of integrity in the global organic market.”

Paula also intimated her delight in joining the Alliance Board, saying that “I am glad I am in great company, and I know I will be learning much more about the organization and its objectives, as we push for its goals and objectives.”