A day in the life of an Auditor

By Owen Gwilliam

The recent audit of FAME Pharmaceuticals was a pleasure. Despite their name, they produce a range of herbal medicines, with the final processing occurring at a factory in Yangon. The factory is certified by Myanmar Organic Agriculture Group, and their demonstration farm, where they grow some 58 medicinal species, is also USDA, EU and IFOAM certified by ACO. The finished products aren’t actually sold as ACO certified, but they want the farm to have the highest levels of organic certification available.

Garlic crop, with marigolds for harbouring beneficial species.


Marigold, Lychee and Jackfruit corridors.


The management team are predominantly young ladies who are highly educated, with excellent (written) English.


Bees for pollination. Queen bee pointed out. I did not get stung.


State of the art drying and packing.


The old “overwhelm your auditor with heaps of folders” technique.


How the locals travel.


A procession for the children, the cattle and elephants intricately decorated.


A school group at the last kings palace. When the British invaded in 1824, and eventually took control (after three wars) in 1885, the king escaped to India, where he remained in exile until his death. Japan then invaded in 1942, then pulled out after the Hiroshima disaster and the resultant end of WWII. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father was in charge breifly, until his assasination in 1947. Independence was granted in 1948, but they still don’t have a king. Aung San Suu Kyi was elected as leader in 1990, however the military didn’t like that and put her under house arrest for 21 years. She is now leader again, however fighting – including genocide of the muslim minorities, continues. Some areas of the country are off limits for foreigners and extremely dangerous. Despite all of this, the locals are so friendly and welcoming.


And selfies are all the rage!


A food forest in a local tourist park.


What a view!