Organic Certification and Marketing Workshop Proceeding
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Tofinga, Mareko (Ed); Su'a, Semira. 2006. Organic Certification and Marketing Workshop Proceeding. IRETA, Apia, Samoa
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/63671
This workshop discussed the rationale of developing organic agriculture which include the raising of consumers’ awareness and health conscious to pay for natural food, concern for environmental protection, economic benefits and health living...
Foreword Despite some progress has been made to promote the concept of organic agriculture worldwide, organic agriculture remains a debatable issue in the Pacific region. There a number of reasons why local people are reluctant to develop organic farming as another alternative farming system. One of which, organic agriculture has already been in existence traditionally but nevertheless, most of Pacific countries are unable to export their organic products because these cannot be certified to market overseas. However, we need to rationalize our views in terms of having a free access to natural resources (land, family, labour) that will facilitate the development of organic agriculture. But most importantly, opportunities are open to invest in certifying and marketing of agricultural products. These are all challenging opportunities for us to take into account if we want to sustain our food security and improve the well-being of people. Generally, we have different farming systems but traditional farming system is our God-given way of developing agriculture. Undoubtedly, such a system has been considered to be socially, economically and financially sustainable. This is especially the input costs are reducing while the output is higher. This workshop highlighted the fact that organic agriculture is the step forward, organic certification and marketing should then be addressed through the IRETA’s research, extension and training activities. Organic agriculture has been revolutionized agriculture in industrialized countries and particularly the increase in production and consumption of organic food. This workshop discussed the rationale of developing organic agriculture which include the raising of consumers’ awareness and health conscious to pay for natural food; concern for environmental protection; economic benefits and health living; improved social health and fertility; and discourage the spread of genetic modified organic (GMO). This workshop came up with a policy briefing paper for governments and development agencies. It is hoped that the problems, the facts and the recommendations highlighted in this policy document would contribute towards greater understanding about proper certification and marketing of organic agricultural products of the PICs. The contributors made by all resource personnel, observers and in particular, the IFOAM is very much appreciated. I am grateful to the country delegates participated and contributed fully in the discussions and the successful outcome of this workshop. The Hon. Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Taua Kitiona Seuala and the staff of the Ministry are warmly thanked for supporting IRETA and being a wonderful host. We thank CTA for its continual support to the Pacific region because the CTA has been the major sponsor of this workshop together with USP-IRETA. Faletoi T. Suavi Acting Director, IRETA