20 May 2008

Pacific organic farming interests discuss how to meet international standards

1:34 pm on 20 May 2008

Delegates from several Pacific countries are meeting in Suva, to finalise standards for organic produce.

The global organic produce market is worth up to 18 billion US dollars, but Pacific farmers need to meet accepted standards to tap into the market.

A project has been running since 2006, involving a regional organic taskforce, supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, to develop regional organic standards.

Hiva Levi, the chairman of the Niue organic farmers association, says initially the focus will be getting into the New Zealand and Australian markets.

"We want to use organic certified products and have them access to the market. It gives added value to our products, and at the same time it provides premium prices to the farmers."

Hiva Levi.

The meeting continues until Thursday, and once standards have been finalised, will be taken to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements for approval.