Business/Entrepreneur of the Month » April 2013
Global Organic Alliance, Inc.
The Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize Global Organic Alliance, Inc. as April's Business/Entrepreneur of the Month.
Global Organic Alliance (GOA) was established in 1997 by Betty Kananen. Betty purchased the farm in 1984, and moved here in 1987, with the intention of starting an organic dairy farm. During this time she became involved in the organic certification process, which precludes being certified. GOA provides organic certification and inspection services to entities who want to be certified to the USDA National Organic Program, the Canadian Standards, and the Japanese Standards.
In 2000 GOA attained ISO 65 accreditation and in 2001, the USDA federal standards for organic certification came into effect, at which time GOA because accredited to provide organic certification services to the National Organic Program. In 2007, GOA was accredited by the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) to certify operations in the US and Canada to the Japanese Agriculture Standard. GOA was the first certification agency in the U.S. to be granted accreditation to certify for the Japanese Ministry and has maintained ISO 65 accreditation for the past 13 years.
Then in 2010, GOA was accredited by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to certify operations in Canada to the Canada Organic Regime. In 1997 they had 4 certified member/clients and today, they have grown to 925 operations.
When asked to describe an interesting fact about their business Betty stated "Few people are aware exactly what is involved to be able to label products as organic. There is a myriad of paperwork, an on-site inspection by qualified inspectors, and an in-depth review that must be undergone prior to receiving an organic certificate. The process is based on each entities production practices, specific inputs and compliance with the organic standards. Testing is not a part of the annual practice but only a tool used at random by certification agents for confirmation of compliance with the standards. We welcome visitors to the office (located on the farm) to really see what organic certification actually entails, or a phone call requesting an Information Packet, There is no cost."
GOA is about personally answering the phone and providing timely, efficient service to their operators first. They do not advertise buy enjoy significant annual growth. "Farmers are first"¯, states Betty.
For more information about GOA, visit www.goa-online.org or call 937-593-1232, office hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.