Saturday, July 09, 2005

Organic Standards

It is very unfortunate that there are no laws requiring organic certification for farms or ready-made food that claim their products organic. Anyone may say they are selling or growing organic produce even if they are not. Anyone may claim organic standards based on their own definition of organic.

I'm learning about all of this as I was innocently buying organic produce wherever a grocer claimed it. When I spoke with Mara Loinaz, a proponent for organic produce and organizer of the Organic Market, she said that most who claim organic are actually not. Mara inspects the farms who want to sell their produce at her market to make sure they are up to her standards of organic. But what exactly are the Philippine standards of organic? The Phil. government has a body that certifies farms and ready-made food, but it isn't required. As I understand it it is used by organic farms that export their produce because the importing countries require certification. I did a little research and found a brief explanation of organic standards by the Department of Agriculture. Similarly, the Agribusiness & Marketing Assistance Service and MASIPAG, "a farmer-led network of people's organizations, non-government organizations and scientists working towards the sustainable use and management of biodiversity...", have both written their standards for organic farming.

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