Country: France
Type of organization: C.S.O

Ecocert Deutschland GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of the Ecocert Group, which was initially founded in 1991, with associative roots dating back to 1978, is a historical operator in the organic sector. It was founded by agronomists aware of the environmental and social benefits of organic agriculture. It has today 350 people working around the world and has activities in more than 90 countries. It has 18 permanent offices, mainly in tropical and/or exporting countries, to keep a close end long term relationship with operators. Ecocert is licensed to perform inspection and certification according to a wide range of specific or private organic regulations (Europe, US, Japan, India, China, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Turkey…) and furthermore carries out inspections for such bodies as Bio Equitable or Bio Suisse.

NGOs have recourse to Ecocert as a tool, when the necessity arises to valorise productions in the context of development projects. Ecocert provides ongoing support to producers, processors, importers, exporters and distributors in their efforts to achieve production integrity. Its services include both pre- and post-certification steps. This means for instance supplying ongoing information on the evolution of regulations, standards, procedures and markets, and organizing training on these matters. Its expert knowledge concerning import procedures and operators’ networks, its in-the-field presence are key factors for a market access.

Ecocert is an inspection and certification body, internationally accredited to ISO Guide 65 (EN 45011), a standard requiring independence, proficiency and impartiality. Ecocert highlights the field experience of its inspectors, the strictness of its certification agents and a capacity of its technical teams to design specific tools. Either on request or at its own initiative, Ecocert elaborates standards, and accompanying documents / procedures / tools for inspection and certification: in a Research and Development effort.

Ecocert has developed fair trade standards and audit tools, based on strict criteria. They cover food produce, cosmetics, textiles, and are compliant with international principles (minimum prices, premium, social responsibility, ILO conventions, producers support...). This guarantee system is operational worldwide since 2007. They apply to an entire supply chain, and emphasise social, environmental as well as transparency issues. A certification committee supervises the work. A FAIR TRADE inspection can easily be combined with an organic one.

The contribution of ECOCERT will be essentially focused on WP5 Dissemination of the GEO FAIR TRADE results through its network around the world.

Key persons involved in the GEO FAIR TRADE project:

  • Caroline Adua, born in 1983, is graduated from Euromed Marseille a French business school with a specialization in Marketing and Sustainable Development. She joined Ecocert in 2007 and has been working for the development of Ecocert Fair Trade. She spent one year in Ecocert India in 2008 working for fair trade (textile sector especially) and the realization of a documentary for Ecocert. From 2009 on, she is working at the Ecocert Headquarters for Ecocert Fair Trade in general. She keeps coordinating the activities of Ecocert India (commercial follow-up, certification decision, etc.).
  • Dr. Pierre Ott, born 1949, is an agronomy engineer, graduated from ESA in 1972 (Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture d'Angers, France) with a postgraduate in Bio-Dynamic in 1973 from the Emerson College in Forest Row, Sussex, UK and a Doctorate from the University of Kassel in 1990 (Witzenhausen). He has worked in Research Institution related to organic farming for 15 years (nitrogen cycles in organic systems, composting, etc.). Thereafter he got involved in certification of products derived from organic farming, created his own accredited and state approved certification organisation in Germany. He joined the Ecocert Group in 2003 and became the operational director of Ecocert Germany. In 2008 he is acting as Senior Adviser in the field of R&D for the Ecocert Group
  • Several Ecocert inspectors will be involved in the project depending on the selected case studies.