In absence of domestic markets, organics of the poor head North

Published: Thursday 31 May 2007

-- Down to Earth Organic agriculture is practised in more than 120 countries. Over 31 million hectares in 633,891 farms are certified organic

Down to Earth Oceania has about 40 per cent of the world's organic land. Europe has 23 per cent, and Latin America 9 per cent. But Oceania has less than one per cent share of the global organic food and drink sales. The us is the leading producer and exporter of organics. Land under organics in North America has grown by 30 per cent

Down to Earth A lot of the organic produce come from forests. Bamboo shoots account for 36 per cent of total organic produce, followed by fruits and berries (21 per cent) and nuts (19 per cent)

Down to Earth Down to Earth Demand for organics is concentrated in rich economies of Western Europe and North America. Europe and North America have low production and face a supply shortage of organic food. A drop in demand in the developed world could hit organic production and prices globally

Down to Earth Organic farmers in poor regions like Africa sell organic products to the North, while they eat food grown with chemicals. Export is the main driver of organics in Latin America. From coffee and bananas of Central America, to sugar in Paraguay and cereals and meat in Argentina, the trade mostly depends on exports

Down to Earth Global sales of organic food and drink have increased 43 per cent from us$23 billion in 2002 to us$33 billion in 2005. Six of the g7 countries account for 84 per cent of global revenues from organics' sale
Certification market
Down to Earth Lack of acceptance and recognition dog certification and accreditation systems in the world. Their multiplicity affects organic agriculture. In Africa, certification problems for organic produce inhibits people from supplying to the export market

Down to Earth 40 per cent of the certification bodies are approved by eu, 32 per cent have International Organization for Standardisation's accreditation, and 28 per cent are accredited in the us

Down to Earth International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (ifoam) published the first global standards for organics in 1980. Over 60 countries have regulations for organic products. About 400 agencies worldwide offer organic certification services

Down to Earth Down to Earth To harmonise the working of certification bodies, ifoam, Food and Agriculture Organization and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development formed the International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture on February 18, 2003, in Nuremberg

Down to Earth ifoam urges farmers in poor countries to not to rely on exports and to develop domestic market for organic products

Source Helga Willer and Minou Yussefi (eds) 2007, The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2007, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Bonn, Germany, and Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland

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