OSEA I Project

Regional Cooperation for Organic Standards and Certification Capacity in East Africa

The IFOAM project Regional Cooperation for Organic Standards and Certification Capacity in East Africa (OSEA) and the UNEP/UNCTAD Capacity Building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development (CBTF) project Promoting Production and Trading Opportunities for Organic Agricultural Products in East Africa facilitated the development of a regional organic standard in the period 2005 to 2007.

The East African Organic Products Standard  was adopted by the East African Community, becoming recognized in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition, the National Organic Agriculture Movements of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda established a common organic mark to be used on organic products in the region.

Other accomplishments include:

- development of a joint inspection protocol for verification of compliance with the standard
- concept development for Participatory Guarantee Systems as an alternative way of conformity assessment
- production of information tools and materials and training of media

The OSEA project has been a real success. It has provided a general boost to the sector and a good foundation for the future development of the organic markets locally, regionally and internationally. As a result, East Africa counts now on a common platform for international negotiations and recognition, and a working regional collaboration around market development and the management of the East African Organic Mark has been developed on the governmental level, in the form of the East African Community, and between the NOAMs.

The follow up to the project, OSEA II, is currently being implemented.

Related links
Development process of the EAOPS, English
Development process of the EAOPS, French
Report of the consumer survey and review of existing PR materials for consumer education
Osea I Project Report
East African Organic Mark

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