Who we are

The Institute for Marketecology (IMO) is a highly experienced international body for the inspection, certification and quality control of organic, eco-friendly and socially-responsible products. IMO is your global partner to ensure high levels of sustainable and ethical performance.

IMO has been active in the field of organic certification for more than 20 years. Today, IMO is also renowned as pioneer in the sectors of natural textiles, timber & forestry, fisheries & aquaculture and fair trade & social accountability monitoring. IMO has a strong reputation for its successful efforts in promotion of regional development.



International network

The IMO Group belongs to the non-profit Swiss Bio-Foundation with its head quarter in Weinfelden, Switzerland. The IMOgroup AG is the IMO umbrella organisation which presently represents 11 independent entities and over 20 international contact offices, mainly in the developing countries.
The IMOgroup AG employs more than 400 experts worldwide for the certification of operations in about 90 countries. Have a look at the IMO world map…
Certification services are offered according to about 70 different ecological and social standards. The overall high quality of IMO’s performance is continuously monitored and acknowledged by numerous experienced auditors and authorities. Read more about what we do…
 

  

Board of Directors, IMOgroup AG: (from left to right) Henrich Neisskenwirth, Elisabeth Rüegg, Umesh Chandrasekhar, Franz Augstburger.


Company history

IMO was founded in Switzerland in 1989 by Dr. Rainer Bächi and Elisabeth Rüegg. In only 15 years IMO has grown from a 2-people office to an international group of companies. Read more about our founder…
From the very beginning IMO has worked internationally. Our philosophy has always been to collaborate with the people living in the countries where IMO is operating or has had opportunities to operate. This approach has allowed us to open new offices through joint ventures with local individuals or organizations: IMO also supports emerging local certification bodies seeking to create their own structure and to achieve accreditation.
In this way, little by little, the developing idea of creating an organised structure for collaboration and exchange among all IMO offices, inspectors and representatives spread over the world. The main challenge was to find a balance between a centralistic approach to ensure uniform quality and de-centralized demands of local offices. Since 2006 all IMO companies are part of a holding structure - the IMOgroup AG - which is coordinated by a jointly elected Board of Directors and a secretariat based in the Head Office in Weinfelden, Switzerland.
Throughout the years, IMO has developed many innovative products for producers and consumers worldwide. Read more about our innovations…


 


Local responsibility and decentralized structures

IMO would like to embrace the diversity of cultural influences and regional peculiarities while guaranteeing the standardized quality of the certification work. The holding is responsible for the entire quality management and ensures its implementation by means of appropriate measures and internal audits at all regional offices. Know-how centers conduct research, development and training in individual control procedures and guidelines for the entire Group.The Group presents itself not only with a corporate identity and uniform market appearance, but does also share the same values and business approach.

Responsible employees do not only want to have a word in their own narrow field of activity. They also wish to shape and develop "their" company. The structure of the IMOgroup AG reflects this idea: the Holding owns the majority of shares of each regional office. It is thus the central force with the crucial task to design quality management and corporate identity in all parts of the world in the same appropriate ways. However, the voting rights are distributed among all regional offices, considering size (turnover, staff), importance (qualification, available services) and experience (length of membership in the IMO Group). The voting rights are re-rated every three years so that they reflect the actual operational situation. The Swiss Bio-Foundation as nominal owner of all shares acts as trustee to administer the shares as well as voting rights and their distribution. In addition to the shares, all members of the IMO Group define the principles of cooperation in an internal contractual agreement. Each member has regional autonomy, but is also obliged to mutual support of all members as well as to internal services and information procedures.

The innovative internal principles of the IMOgroup AG reinforce IMO’s position as a trend-setter for new corporate and socially oriented business approaches.  

Innovative corporate structures for sustain-ability

 
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