‘The Crop of the Future’
Strengthening traditional organic farming practices can help meet the changing needs of the Pacific and carry the region into the future.
The recent Global Breadfruit Summit in Hawaii considered the role of agriculture in boosting food security, health and nutrition.
Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community’s Stephen Hazelman said in 2008 the Community met to develop its own Pacific Organic Standard.
“We thought: Why are we following the American, New Zealand, Hawaiian and European way of farming? Our farming practices are very different.”
“So over the next two years we developed the Pacific Organic Standard for the region which was accepted by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and is now the accepted Pacific gold standard.”
He said the Pacific Organic Standard describes the requirements for organic production and covers plant production, animal husbandry, beekeeping, collection wild products and aquaculture, as well as the processing of products derived from these activities.
“The aim is to ensure that sustainable production systems are developed and maintained while also protecting consumers and producers.”
Currently there are two types of certifications systems in the Pacific: the Participatory Guarantee System and the Third Party Certification for international markets such as EU and USA.
Stephen Hazelman added traditional organic farming practices also demonstrated how agriculture is important to achieving UN Sustainable Goals.