|IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting the Organic World|
October 10, 2008
IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting the Organic World
EquiTool, which facilitates the equivalence of standards for organic production and processing, includes assessment criteria and emphasizes reference to the international standards of IFOAM and Codex.
IROCB (International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies) will enable the recognition of organic certification bodies worldwide. Based on ISO 65 (General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems), IROCB (pronounced eye-rock-bee) also includes performance requirements specific to organic certification.
The ITF Tools were launched by IFOAM Vice President Urs Niggli, UNCTAD Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi and FAO Assistant Director General Alexander Mueller at a public session following the 8th ITF meeting. The final ITF meeting was held on 6-7 October at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The growth of organic agriculture presents a very good opportunity for farmers to participate in trade”, noted the FAO Deputy Director during his remarks at the public session. “Market demand is strong and consumers know that the quality of organic products is high and the production system is environmentally friendly.”
“The food supply and price crisis have called to attention the problems in agriculture. The way that the world grows its food will have to change radically to meet these changes, and organic agriculture is an approach with strong potential to address the problems,” observed the UNCTAD Director General. “The sector is growing rapidly and presents opportunity for producers. Organic agriculture is particularly well suited for smallholder farmers. It preserves traditional knowledge and reduces dependence on external inputs. Constraints include the requirements to obtain organic certification for different markets. To address these constraints, the public and private sectors should embrace the ITF findings and tools.”
“Now we have another result in the organic sector from a public-private cooperation, stated IFOAM’s Vice President. “The cooperation of FAO, UNCTAD and IFOAM on the ITF has produced two important tools to support organic market development. ITF is one of the rare successful examples of public-private partnership. It is of utmost importance to intensify and enhance the partnership of IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO.”
Participants in the ITF praised the tools. Some participants, such as those from the EU Commission and IFOAM, committed to using these tools in their systems, and others committed to advocating in their own regions for their adoption.
Contact: Diane Bowen
|© IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture|