IOIA will partner with the Accredited Certifiers Association on collaborative training in New Orleans, Louisiana USA.
January 23, morning - IOIA member activity – group tour in New Orleans under development
January 23 - IOIA AGM, afternoon, following lunch. The event will culminate with a dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate local food and beverage. Every effort will be made to incorporate online members. Board election will be conducted online, as it has for the past 2 years.
January 24 (Tuesday) - The NOP annual certifier training is scheduled is open to all inspectors at no charge. Advance registration is required through ACA. Registration ink will be shared as soon as available.
January 25-26 (Wednesday and Thursday) – collaborative training in ACA/IOIA Training in-person. Other sessions will be online only and scheduled in advance of the New Orleans event. There is no plan for live-streaming at this time. Agenda and registration fees are under development. The price is anticipated to be about $275 for both days for the full conference plus online options. The online-only training will also be available for a registration fee.
January 26 - An Organic Parade!? Tentative, still under discussion (New Orleans is famous for birthday parades – what better way to celebrate IOIA’s 30th anniversary and IFOAM’s 50th than with this local tradition?)
January 27 (Friday) - IOIA Advanced training – topics under development
New Orleans is located on the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans is a major port and considered the economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast Region. It is world renowned for its distinctive music, Creole cuisine, unique dialect, and its annual celebrations and festivals, especially Mardi Gras. The French Quarter is the historic heart of the city, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and the nightlife along Bourbon Street.
About the date
The date of the Annual Meeting was based on a desire to collaborate with ACA and a survey of the membership. This event was postponed for 2 years due to the pandemic. January 23 afternoon was the overwhelming favorite. This means it falls in the Mardi Gras season. Mardi Gras 2023 is on the 21st February 2023, with the main celebrations happening in the two weeks leading up to the date itself. Mardi Gras itself, always falls on a Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday falls annually on the day before Ash Wednesday (start of Lent). The word "Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday" in the French language. Celebrations include festivals, parades, dancing and feasting before the fasting starting on Ash Wednesday. The Mardi Gras season falls between early January until Fat Tuesday and is also called Carnival. Mardi Gras has been celebrated in the southeast since early 1700’s. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the best known but not the oldest celebration. The official colors of the Carnival season in New Orleans and most other places are gold, purple and green. Gold for power, purple for justice and green for faith.
Speaker Bios - Keynote speaker Nathan Slabaugh, film maker and photographer based in Spokane, Washington, seen at right. Nathan will keynote about "Telling our Story" - the story of organic inspectors - as he drove thousands of miles and gathered hours of footage. He created short videos with IOIA to be used in recruiting new inspectors and raising awareness about the work we do.