What is Organic Certification?
Organic certification is a procedure by which an independent party gives a written assurance that a production process is in conformity with organic standards.
It is a marketing instrument that enables access to a special market. It confers a positive statement that a producer follows the rules of organic production.
In countries with regulated organic markets, certification is mandatory.
EnCert is a Kenyan certification body which offers organic certification services to individual producers as well as producer groups.
INSPECTION & CERTIFICATION
Organic & Social Fair Trade
The trend to conform to market standards in order to access specific markets continue to lock out products from East Africa. Organic and Social Fair Trade Certification is an opportunity for East African enterprise to access these markets. Most producers would wish to carry out certified organic and Social Fair Trade however they cannot since they lack information and capacity to do that. At Nesvax we provide information and training and implementation of the organic standards and also develop the internal control systems where applicable.
Nesvax has been contracted by the Institute of Market Ecology (IMO) Switzerland to conduct organic and Social Fair Trade inspection in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.
The Linking Network for Organic Agriculture
The Kenya Organic Agricultural Network (KOAN) is the National Coordinating body for Organic Agricultural activities in Kenya. Koan emerged from a consultative process where organic practitioners agreed to come and work together to achieve the synergy required to develop the organic sub sector.
Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS)
Third-party programs are doing an excellent job at what they were designed for and have vastly increased the global market and awareness of organic products. PGS offer a complementary, low-cost, locally-based system of quality assurance, with a heavy emphasis on social control and knowledge building. PGS, as a complementary method to third-party certification, is essential to the continued growth of the organic movement, especially if we want to include poorer smallholder farmers who have the most to benefit from organic.
It is ironic that in many countries we see the number of acres under third-party organic certification increasing quickly, while the number of certified organic farmers is hardly growing. Based on these numbers it would appear smallholder farmers are less interested in joining the organic movement than large agribusiness farms. Of course this is not true; it is only the process of third-party certification that smallholders are less interested in. Barriers to entry for third-party certification, including direct costs and paperwork, mean that many of the smallest and poorest farmers (those that have the most to gain by joining a system of committed organic production) cannot participate, and this hurts the growth of the organic movement as a whole.