APO e-Learning Course on Production and Certification of Organic Agrifood Products for Greater Market Access Session #2
Timing and Duration
29 Sep – 2 Oct, 2014
National Productivity Center of Cambodia
National Training and Productivity Centre, Fiji National University
Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Jakarta
Development Academy of the Philippines
Thailand Productivity Institute
Vietnam Productivity Centre
To acquint participants with the standards and regulations of production and certification of organic agrifood products and also enhance participants understanding of the management of organic agrifood products in food supply chains.
This course is offered through videoconferencing using the World Banks’s Global Development Learning Network. In Indonesia, it was held at Jakarta Distance Learning Center (JDLC), Univevrsity of Indonesia. The course is implemented in two sessions. Each country group would be moderated by a local coordinator. The main faculty for this course came from Germany, Malaysia and Japan.
On the last day, a written examination is conducted to test the participants learning from the course. Performance in the examination would be one of the criteria for selection of the participants for a follow-up face-to-face training course. One or two of the best performing participants to this e-learning course from each country maybe selected to attend open endorsement by the concerned NPO.
The demand for organic foof products is expected to continue growing robustly in major markets like the USA and EU. The global market for certified organic food products is expanding fast, resulting in greater opportunities for organic producers in developing countries in Asia. To take advantage of this growing export market, however, there is a need to establish credible systems of organic standards and strengthen organic certification bodies.
Organic certification is undertaken based on established regulatory and audit systems that provide operating guidelines and rules, called organic standards. Nowadays, third-party certification is prerequisite in successful sales transactions, and an “organic” claim on a product labels requires such certification under the regulations of many governments.
In many developing countries, especially those where organic food production and processing are only beginning to emerge as viabble commercial ventures, there is no harmonuzed standard and hence organic product labeling and certification may be unreliable. This issue needs to be addressed if developing countries in Asia seek to benefit from the expanding international markets for these products. There is also a need to develop a critical mass of inspectors of organic products to facilitate the certification of growers and proccessors.