Organic standards and certification in Africa

In Africa, most certified organic production is geared towards export markets. For export, most African countries are reliant upon foreign standards. To date, the largest part of certified organic production has been certified according to the EU regulation for organic products.

Local markets for organic produce need therefore to be developed, if organic farming is really asserting itself in the long term. IFOAM therefore works on the Participatory Guarantee Systems and the Group Certification/ Internal Control Systems for small farmer groups to reduce verification costs and to develop conformity assessment mechanisms that are accessible for smallholders. The vision is to encourage smallholders to become or remain organic.

For the domestic markets, African countries are reliant upon national standards. Some existing African organic standards are listed below:

East African Organic Products Standards

Norme des Produits Biologiques de L'Afrique de L'Est

Development of a regional organic agriculture standard in East Africa 2005-2007

Afrisco Standards for Organic Production

PGS in East Africa English

PGS in East Africa French