agroforst 1199

Naturland

Inspektorenschulung gross

At Naturland head office in Gräfelfing, Germany, 22 inspectors from 15 inspection bodies in 11 different countries are assembling to participate in a two-day inter-active training course on the Naturland standards. This type of training course has been an integral part of Naturland quality assurance policy for some years now.

Naturland is an association of farmers who grow high-quality organic foodstuffs in 44 countries throughout the world in conformity with one strict set of standards. Naturland quality assurance ensures that they all understand the standards and implement them in the same way. One of the measures adopted to this end is to provide regular training courses for the inspectors working for independent inspection bodies, the job of which it is to visit farmers and processing plants to monitor their adherence to the Naturland standards on-site.
All the inspectors are invited to attend such training courses at least every three years. Apart from these courses, they have access to Moodle, an internet learning platform, the whole year round. This enables Naturland to live up to its claim that all the inspectors receive instruction on performing examinations specifically to the Naturland standards, in addition to obtaining their own professional qualifications.
During the course, particular focus is being placed on a deeper understanding of the social standards. The participants practise developing the sensitivity required when performing inspections to these standards, taking actual situations as examples. Bayoumi Nasr from Egypt, one of the participants in the course, acknowledges the relevance of this practice, saying, “It was particularly the social standards and regulations which I wanted to learn more about."

Inspektorenschulung GruppenStaff of the Naturland quality assurance and certification teams also instructed the participants on the special Naturland checklists in the fields of processing, aquaculture and internal control systems.
In order to establish a common approach, it is important to encourage an informal exchange of information between the international colleagues. Nasr expresses his praise for this joint training course, saying it is particularly useful because the participants can profit not only from the expertise of their trainer but also from the questions raised and insights offered by the other colleagues.
“This direct contact with the inspectors is important for us too, because it is how we can learn about the problems and difficulties the inspectors encounter,” says Julia Manlik from the Naturland quality assurance division.
Security rather than anonymity is the Naturland quality principle. This is why it does more than hold training courses. Besides inspection to do so, Naturland has its own representatives in the area who are wholly familiar with local conditions. In addition the Naturland head office sends staff with experience in the international field to pay regular visits to member farms throughout the world.