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Expensive certification

Shayal Devi
Thursday, May 29, 2014

THE high cost of organic certification is one of the main challenges facing farmers, says Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community officer Stephen Hazelman.

He said some of the certifiers who had been working in Fiji to organically certify farms include Australian Certified Organic, National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia and BioGro New Zealand.

"There is a cost to this certification but if you have the volumes to export then you can cover the cost of organic certification," he said.

"The other issue relates to the changing world organic market requirements when it comes to certification.

"For example, if you want to export organic products from Fiji to China, you will have to work with Chinese certifiers. You have to cover the cost of getting the certifiers to Fiji and also the certification fee."

Mr Hazelman said awareness needed to be created for organic farming and products in Fiji. This was not only for the benefit of farmers but to allow consumers to understand the importance of organic farming.

"Markets overseas also need to be identified and secured for organic products."

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