African Organic Product Standards for the African Continent? Prospects and Limitations

  • Odile Juliette Lim Tung University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: organic agriculture, certification, pan-African organic product standards, private organic standards, national organic regulation

Abstract

Organic agriculture is a sustainable agricultural system with high environmental protection and animal welfare. In 2015, the world organic agriculture covered 50.9 million hectares with Oceania as the biggest regional producer with 22.8 million hectares and Africa as the least regional producer (1.7 million hectares). While organic agriculture may not be the only solution for African farming, it aligns with sustainable economic development and does not involve chemical inputs. Whereas there are different private standards, not all African countries have national organic standards and there are no pan-African organic standards. This paper discusses the need to address the proliferation of organic standards as a trade barrier through pan-African organic standards and inspire the development of harmonised domestic standards. It examines the prospects for pan-African organic standards, their limitations and makes recommendations for the making, the contents and implementation of such standards domestically and national measures to support African organic agriculture.

Author Biography

Odile Juliette Lim Tung, University of the Witwatersrand
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Mandela Institute, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand.

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AfroNet African Organic Network
AROS Asia Regional Organic Standard
ASEAN Association of SouthEast Asian Nations
ASOA ASEAN Standard for Organic Agriculture
BVAT Bio Vision Africa Trust
BDOCA Biodynamic and Organic Certification Authority
BOAM Burundi Organic Agricultural Movement
CAADP Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
COMESA Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
DAFF Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (South Africa)
DREA Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture
EAC East African Community
EAEP East Africa Export Programme
EAOPS East African Organic Product Standards
EC European Community
ECLJ European Consumer Law Journal
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
Eds editors
EOA Ecological Organic Agriculture
EquiTool Equivalence of Organic Standards and Technical Regulations
EEC European Economic Community
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