42 DE ÖKO 001 This number on all our products stands for Kiwa BCS Öko Garantie GmbH Germany s first independent auditing body for organic farming Founding the company in 1990 managing director Peter Grosch brought fresh impetus to the organic scene Lebensbaum was among the first companies to sign up for his audits joined two years later by Niehoffs Kaffeerösterei Peter Grosch in founding your auditing body you became the pioneer of German certifiers What inspired you to take that step Through my earlier work at Bioland and Demeter I knew that people had gained a good understanding of how to use internal checks of growing processes The problem was the market more and more me too companies were appearing on the scene at that time The ones with a fake green veneer making out they were organic We used to describe them as pseudo organic Increasingly there were scandals and instances of fraud My instinct was saying to me There s got to be an independent audit What were the greatest challenges for you back then One initial difficulty was that the associations for whom I had worked saw my initiative as competition They didn t understand at all that I had no intention of launching a new association or trademark I wanted to make the whole thing stronger by us being able to say Here is something independent You can all rely on it and it s helping to clean up the market A pot of tea with Peter Grosch A pioneer among organic food inspectors and founder of Kiwa BCS Öko Garantie GmbH one of the world s biggest certification companies for organic products In such situations Ulrich Walter was one of the people who said to me Peter see it through you ll emerge stronger I know how it is And he was right Back then Lebensbaum was Germany s second company to register for certification What is your perception of our company s development Development is almost an understatement I know Ulrich Walter from the days when he would still lead me into the garage and say Look I ve got a couple of nice things here From when small parcels were still being sent out from there All the way to today s global company rather than developed I d say sys tematically exploded It s been an enormous business achievement as it also means of course that you repeatedly have to take risks And doing that is by no means very common any more Entrepreneur implies being enterprising not just an administrator And in my view Ulrich Walter has been exemplary in demon strating this How to be enterprising to actually make things happen And whether I m travelling to Africa or I m in China all over the place you come across Lebensbaum and Ulrich Walter Signs of his work can be seen everywhere That is very very impressive That sounds almost like a friendship for life How do you nevertheless make sure that the audits remain objective We ve always got on very well personally and had a very similar view of developments and situations but that doesn t mean we wouldn t also have said 3 Our tools

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