The sales of organic products have increased at a healthy rate during the last decades around the world. In Lebanon, hundreds of farmers, processors and traders are today certified organic. Products certified are mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, and processed food (olive oil, jams, animal by-products, pickles, etc…) in lower percentages.
Fair trade importers are increasingly demanding dual Fair Trade and Bio certification for their markets. That is why Fair Trade Lebanon accompanies some of the producers through the process of obtaining their organic certification from an independent certification body.
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on non-chemical inputs and ecologically sustainable techniques (such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control) to maintain soil productivity and control pests. Its holistic approach to farming systems relies on the four principles of Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care.
“Certified Organic“ means that the product is grown according to strict uniform standards, it is verified by independent state or private organizations considered as Certification Bodies. There are inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, trade activities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and products to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards that have been set.
Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by IFOAM, an international umbrella organization for organic organizations established in 1972, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission, established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization.
On the shelves, organic certified products are distinguished by their organic logo. Organic operators need to meet the standards and regulations of the country in which the product is destined to be sold.