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On the road with Fritz Meile

Fritz Meile, auditor and certifier

Fritz, could you please introduce yourself briefly for our readers?
My name is Fritz Meile, I am married and father of a 14-year-old daughter. We live in Bäretswil in the beautiful Zurich Oberland. After my training as a butcher, I worked for the congress hotel in Davos and completed an additional apprenticeship as a chef. During my many years in the retail trade, I completed training as a retail trade specialist. In 2012, I was looking for a new challenge in the food industry in 2012. Since then I have been travelling throughout Switzerland as an auditor and certifier for bio.inspecta.

How would you describe your work?
My main tasks include the inspection of retailers, butchers, cattle dealers, catering businesses, bakeries, milk processors and, for the past two years, regular checks at the Lucerne weekly market.

What do you appreciate about your job?
I especially appreciate the contact with people, getting to know the great Switzerland, the independence in my job and its organisation, so I also have enough time for my family, cooking, skiing and sports/games in general.

What has changed in your work since 2012?
Over the past nine years, bio.inspecta has grown steadily and now also offers its services in other countries. This has led to an increase in the scope of work and the number of employees. The demands on the audit quality of the individual label guidelines/specifications are also growing and entail greater administrative input. Digitisation, which has also found its way into our company, simplifies many processes in the company and we can constantly improve customer service.

We accompanied Fritz Meile to the control at the Lucerne weekly market. bio.inspecta supports the urban space service department by checking whether the various criteria contractually agreed upon are met by the stand operators. 
If required, bio.inspecta will also be happy to support the organisers in drawing up individual guidelines.

It is 6.30 a.m. and market participants are setting up their stalls at dawn. Clanking and clattering fills the air, voices murmuring and the smell of fresh food and flowers can be heard. 

«Good day», Fritz Meile addresses the person responsible for the stand and introduces himself. He checks whether the products on offer correspond to the product lists submitted, the price tags are clearly labelled, organic products have a certificate and much more. 

The producers are busy setting up their stands and presenting their goods. Nevertheless, they all take a few minutes of their time. They enjoy the exchange, like to talk about their experiences and appreciate the fact that the control ensures that everyone sticks to the guidelines.

At 8.30 a.m. the market slowly comes to life. Customers stroll from stand to stand and are seduced by the fresh, beautifully presented products. The colourful hustle and bustle at Lucerne's weekly market invites you to linger and come back again.Tradition combined with modernity and liveliness, paired with fresh, seasonal and local products.

Lucerne's weekly market takes place three times a week in the city center of Lucerne, Tuesdays and Saturdays as a fresh produce and speciality market and Fridays as a fish market. The organisers attach great importance to regional, fresh, seasonal and agriculturally produced food. This should give customers the opportunity to get to know producers and family businesses from the Lucerne region personally. 

The sites are allocated every 5 years by means of a tendering procedure. The stand operators apply to the urban space service department with a detailed list of products. This ensures that the product mix is attractive and comprehensive. 

In addition to food, flowers, plants, national and international specialities are offered. The secondary assortment must also be declared and may only be offered in addition to the main assortment, e.g. herb butter with meat or fruit bread with cheese.