The inaugural meeting of the Australian Independent Organic Inspectors Association was held in Melbourne on 11 October 1999.
Many Australian organic inspectors now work for more than one certification scheme and the principle of independent, properly trained inspectors is now widely accepted in the industry. As the eyes and ears of the certification organisations, professional conduct, impartiality, honesty, absence of conflict of interest and separation of the inspection process from decision making are considered important skills for inspectors.
Some inspectors have been members of the (international ) Independent Organic Inspectors Asoociation for a few years. A few such as Rod May and Liz Clay have travelled to the USA to attend training by the IOIA. The Australian membership of IOIA grew two and a half years ago after Jim Riddle from IOIA travelled to Dareton to conduct an Inspector Training Course in Australia. However a local association will help inspectors to develop their skills and a professional code of conduct. It can also deal with issues between the inspectorate and the certification bodies.
Liz Clay was elected interim President, and Sid Cowling Secretary/Treasurer, both are from Victoria. The interim committeee members are Tim Marshall (SA), Andy Monk (Qld) and Mark Ucich (WA). It is intended that the first AGM will be held in the first half of 2000.
Membership is open to inspectors, trainee inspectors and any other individuals who are willing to support the aims and code of ethics of the association.