Eighth and final Meeting of the UNCTAD-FAO-IFOAM International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF)
06 - 07 October 2008
Room XXV, 1st floor, Palais des Nations

Key Issues

The UNCTAD-FAO-IFOAM International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF) is an international public-private partnership for sustainable development.

The project is a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and UNCTAD. The ITF has worked since 2003 to remove technical barriers to trade in organic agricultural products that result from the lack of harmonization and interoperability of organic regulations, private standards, and certification requirements.

The six year working period of the ITF (2003-2008) has led to an increased understanding of issues, dialogue between private and public sectors and among governments, improved cooperation including catalyzing regional harmonization processes and increased influence on new regulations and revision of existing ones.

The event will be the final ITF meeting and will focus on the following:

  • Approval and launch of tools developed by the ITF:

    EquiTool - Tool for Equivalence of Organic Standards and Technical Regulations, a guide for judging equivalence between organic standards for organic production and processing; and

    IROCB - International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies, a set of performance requirements for organic certification.

  • Updates and announcements from ITF members

  • Presentation of the Final Report and Recommendations

  • Discussion of the future beyond the ITF project

High-level Public Session
7th October from 15:30-17:30hrs.

(To present and celebrate the work of the ITF over the past six years)

UNCTAD´s Secretary-General, Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi will be joined by IFOAM Vice-President, Mr. Urs Niggli, and FAO Assistant Director-General, Mr. Alexander Müller to launch the two ITF tools: EquiTool and IROCB.

The event will be followed by a reception featuring organic beverages and snacks - the first ever in the Palais.


Members of the press and public are most welcome to both the HLS and the organic reception. Advance registration is requested to facilitate planning and access to the Palais for members of the public.

On-line Registration
& Documents


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