Organic inspection sets course for the future

bio.inspecta and Austria Bio Garantie, the two leading organic inspection bodies in Switzerland and Austria respectively, came under one roof in organisational terms. The two companies’ owners fully integrated the companies into the new EASY-CERT group AG of which they are now joint owners with equal rights. In their home countries, bio.inspecta and Austria Bio Garantie will continue to operate as autonomous organisations.

For many years now the two companies have maintained close cooperation. From their beginnings as organic inspection bodies, both have grown into comprehensive service providers over the past 25 years. Among much other collaboration they jointly developed the certificate platform. In order to offer clients the broadest possible range of services, joint services were offered in Switzerland, Austria and beyond. Moreover, both companies held reciprocal ownership interests.

Organic ethos safeguarded in corporae culture – Companies remain under organic management

Not least with a view to the dynamic development of the organic marketplace in recent years, the cooperation between the two companies has proven to be a foresighted decision that proved its worth in all areas. «Given the rising importance of organic agriculture and the associated organic marketing, we must leverage additional synergies in order to continue to meet the growing demands in a most exacting manner. The merger is designed to sustainably safeguard our high quality of service provision and our companies’ market leadership», says Hans Matzenberger, the managing director of Austria Bio Garantie.

«For some time now our clients have already been benefiting from a comprehensive one-stop service. In addition to organic inspection and certification, the range of services we offer includes many private labels, statutory instruments and standards in the areas of fair trade and sustainability. The merger between bio.inspecta and Austria Bio Garantie will allow us to work even more efficiently from now on», explains Ueli Steiner, CEO of bio.inspecta.

The merger of the two companies also serves to safeguard the organic ethos which is deeply ingrained in the two companies’ corporate culture. «The aim is to keep the companies in «organic hands» in the long term and to continue to work for the benefit of the organic farming sector. This step is also designed to leverage synergies between bio.inspecta and Austria Bio Garantie and to jointly advance organic certification. » says Peter Jossen, the newly elected President of the Board of Management. 

The new umbrella organisation’s governing body (Board of Management) is composed of the following individuals:

Peter Jossen (CH) – President – lawyer, notary and former National Councillor
Michael Stelzl (AT) – Vice president – Managing Director of the Institut Hygienicum laboratory in Graz
Urs Niggli (CH) – Director of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)
Christina Ritter (AT) – Organic farmer and representative of Bio Austria Tyrol
Susanna Küffer Heer (CH) – Long-standing board member of Demeter International
Robert Holzer (AT) – Organic farmer, entrepreneur and board member of Bio Austria Lower Austria and Vienna
Ueli Steiner (CH) – CEO of bio.inspecta
Hans Matzenberger (AT) – Managing Director of Austria Bio Garantie   

Ueli Steiner and Hans Matzenberger serve as managing directors of the new umbrella organisation.

Key metrics of the newly established group: With their 260 employees and 160 freelance staff, bio.inspecta and Austria Bio Garantie together complete some 38,000 audits per year in Switzerland, Austria and internationally. Together they serve 21,000 clients in the organic agriculture sector and 4000 clients in the areas of processing, trade and imports.