Current organic certification schemes in the Philippines are not recognised internationally, according to the Manila Bulletin, putting lucrative foreign markets beyond the reach of the country’s organic producers.
The Organic Certification Centre of the Philippines (OCCP) is the only accreditation body in the country, but the centre’s standard is not compliant with ISO 65, an international benchmark of safe organic food.
The Organic Producers and Trade Association (OPTA) is one of the groups pushing for an international standard, and trustee Pablito M. Villegas said the current situation is preventing a lot of trade.
“Our certification system is not fully in place. There’s an international task force on equivalence and harmonisation of standards with which we’re trying to work. If we have an internationally recognised certification system, then we can export to Europe, the US, Japan, and Korea,” he said.