|Good progress in India|
Defining India National Interpretation
The National Technical Group (NTG) from India –created to reach a consensus on the National Interpretation of the RTRS Standard for India- held its 3rd meeting on July 21 at the Shreemaya Hotel in the city of Indore. During this meeting, India’s legal aspects and agricultural practices were analyzed in relation to the requirements of the RTRS Production Standard and guidance was added for auditors and producers. The India NTG has been working on the interpretations since 2009, when the standard field version was approved.
The document is currently being reviewed by the NTG to be finalised. Once the document has been approved by the NTG and reviewed by the RTRS secretariat, it will be sent to the Executive Board for its revision and final approval. It is expected that these interpretations can be used for the first certifications in India this year.
This meeting was attended by members from the 3 RTRS constituencies, the Technical Group national coordinator, Ashok Kumar, and Cecilia Gabutti from the RTRS executive secretariat.
In order to make a training approach adapted to the local context, through local representatives, the RTRS carried out a field visit to producers working on the standard in a village called Ujjain/Agar, around 100 km from Indore. Control Union was invited to carry out an audit drill there, which made it possible to make adjustments and identify aspects where the training process needs reinforcing.
At present, there are 22000 small producers working in order to comply with the RTRS requirements. It is expected that around 15000 producers obtain the certification this year. Organizations like Basix, ASA, Solidaridad and others have been involved in cooperation projects with the RTRS for 2 years by organizing and training producers.
On July 25, 26 and 27, the Lead Auditor course on the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production was held for the first time in India at the Residency Hotel in Bhopal.
In addition to auditors from different certification bodies, the course was attended by members of the national accreditation body from India and people responsible for the Internal Control System of the groups working under the SOYPSI Programme, created to promote and train producers in the RTRS standards so that they are prepared for the first certifications in this country.