Progress & process 2009
At the BioFach 2009 the Code of Good Organic Practice was presented to the international organic audiency. The seven main principles are supported by the processing and trading associations Aoel-Germany, Organic Finland, Probila-Belgium, Synabio-France and VBP-Netherlands, as well as by up to 50 individual organic processing and trading companies.
Aoel-Germany, Probila-Belgium, Synabio-France and VBP-Netherlands, all united in the IFOAM EU Sector Group Organic Processing (SGOP) took the responsibility to elaborate the seven main principles of the Code by a practical toolbox, which gives direction to the practical implementation of the principles into the individual companies.
The first draft of the Toolbox is discussed on the last SGOP meeting. The second version is included as separate Annex. The Toolbox will be further elaborated by IFOAM EU SGOP.
Ø February 2008: Declaration of Amsterdam with the decisions that the organic processing and trading companies will take responsibility to secure organic integrity and will establish a Code of Good Organic Practice.
Ø November 2008: The 7 main principles of the Code of Good Organic Practice were established on the Hamburg meeting by 22 processing and trading associations and individual companies.
Ø February 2009: Presentation of the Code of Good Organic Practice at BioFach 2009 and establishment of further support by 15 international organizations and most members of the Dutch organic trading and processing association VBP.
Ø April 2009:
o Establishment of the second draft of the Toolbox
o Establishment email-list actual participants (by VBP)
o Information about Progress & Process to all stake-holders
Ø October 2009:
o Establishment of actual website information (www.vbpbiologisch.nl)
o Feed-back on the Toolbox and Progress & Process by all stake-holders
o First draft proposal for further project-requirements and organization for the near future
Ø November 2009:
o Finalization of the Toolbox
o Feed-back on the proposal for further project-requirements and organization for the near future by all stake-holders
o Preparations for a subsidy request for implementation of the Code of Good Organic Practice
Ø November 2009:
o General agreement by the assembly’s of the IFOAM EU SGOP-members on the Project organization and budget for 2010
Ø December 2009:
o Presentation of the project at AFI meeting Brussels
Ø January 2010:
o Start of the website and presentation of all participants
o Start of self assessment process by the participants
Until Hamburg the process was quite ad hoc organized on more or less voluntary basis. At the end of the Hamburg meeting the members of the SGOP took the responsibility to organize a presentation at the BioFach 2009 (together with the presentation of the Code of Conduyct by EOCC) and elaborate the Toolbox.
The initiator of the AFI took the responsibility to contact organic officials from Italy to organize a AFI meeting at Sana (or just before or after), where the finalized Code of Good organic Practice can be presented and signed by participants.
As the process continues a more stable organization and finance is needed. For the part of organization it is necessary that there is an objective supervisor, with the following tasks:
- Communication to (potential) participants, other stakeholders and media
- Registration of new participants
- Development of a self assessment tool on internet website
- Supervision on the fulfillment of self assessment process and coaching of participants
- Supervision in case of complaints towards participants who signed and made self assessment
- Development of procedures in case of complaints, judgement etc.
- Coaching of participants to improve their score
- Research potential cooperation with a certification body/bodies to certify the Code of Good Organic Practice Toolbox implementation in individual companies
- Annual budget & organization of the work that has to be done
- Organization of financial contribution for the initial start of the system (subsidy) and for the on going costs after the initial start (contribution by participants and/or the associations)
- On going evaluation and update of the Toolbox etc.
Vision on elementary instrument for implementation of the Code of Good organic Practice
The essence of the Code of Good Organic Practice is –at first stage- a business to business model for communication between organic companies. The project shows the companies who are willing to sign up for the 7 main principles of the Code and shows the general result of their self assessment. On demand of a potential client a participant can give access to the detailed information of his/here company, but only with its authorization.
To accomplish this B-to-B communication it is necessary to develop a database tool with the following needs:
- Registration of participants and regularly updates on central level
- Request for registration by potential members (via website connected to databse)
- Data-entry and regularly updates of self-assessment tool by participants themselves (via personal access in website)
- Possibility of participants to send (and afterwards block) pass-codes to companies for detailed information about their self assessment data.
- Connection of the database to website area with access possibilities on different levels (supervisor-participant-visitor)
In the second stage it might be useful to make the website and company data also fit for consumer communication.
We have orientation contact with the People 4 Earth initiative (www.people4earth.org), which is a new certification initiative for sustainable products and services between companies and consumers on the level of individual products and services. Their certification scheme is quite close connected to the 7 main principles of the Code of Good organic Practice. Their database system (and presentation on their website) might be quite fit for the needs of our system.