unctad.org | FAO/IFOAM/UNCTAD International Conference on Global Organic Market Access in 2012 and beyond
FAO/IFOAM/UNCTAD International Conference on Global Organic Market Access in 2012 and beyond
13 - 14 February 2012

Key Issues

For ten years, FAO, IFOAM and UNCTAD have worked in partnership to address and reduce barriers to trade of organic products resulting from the global proliferation of organic standards and technical regulations.

The high-level International Conference will draw together a distinguished group of public and private sector leaders to examine the past, present and future of organic market access, relative to systems of organic standards and conformity assessment.

The conference looks at emerging issues, such as the potential for organic standards to promote the growth of organic agriculture vis-à-vis their potential to stifle growth.

Developments and challenges for dominant and emerging exporting/importing economies and for still-developing countries are highlighted and discussed.

Models of public-private and regional cooperation are considered as potential pathways for global solutions to the challenges.

Keynote speakers:

  • Harsha Singh, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization

  • Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture

  • Franz Fischler, President, Eco-Social Forum and former Commissioner of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, European Union

  • Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture African Union Commission (invited)

In addition to the keynote speakers, participants are afforded an opportunity to discuss key issues with distinguished government and private-sector speakers from Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, France, Great Britain, India, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and United States.

Representatives of intergovernmental and international organizations such as The European Commission, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, International Trade Commission, International Organic Accreditation Service and Pacific Islands Community are also expected also contribute to the presentations and discussions.

Issues to be addressed:

  • Developing regional organic markets based on harmonized and/or equivalent systems
  • The “right” role and scale for standards in organic agriculture and trade
  • Cooperation among certification and accreditation bodies in supply chains
  • Using common objectives for standards development and equivalence
  • “Participatory Guarantee Systems” and international trade
  • Trust but Verify: the challenge of maintaining equivalence agreements

Who Should Attend?

  • Government regulators
  • Government trade promoters and negotiators
  • Intergovernmental organizations working in trade policy and development
  • Certification and accreditation bodies
  • Farmers cooperatives and associations
  • Researchers
  • Traders and retailers


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