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Latin America and Caribbean meeting: Data collection workshop

At the fourth meeting of the organic sector of Latin America and the Caribbean (October 12-16, 2009) a workshop on data collection will be held. It is convened by d the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and CLUSA, one of the conference organisers.

Logo of the 4th meeting of the organic sector in Latin America and the Caribbean

With the increasing interest in organic farming and organic products, more and more countries are collecting data on organic agriculture. In many countries this is performed by the governments, but there are also countries where this task is carried out by the private sector.

Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean supply the basic data on organic farming (land under organic management and number of operators). For some countries also production and export data are available, for some countries even domestic market data.

Still, in many countries, data collection remains a challenge, and some of these will be discussed at the workshop, with the aim to learn from the experiences of others and to identify fields of cooperation.  

The target group are government bodies involved with data collection, inspection bodies, the private organic sector as well as development cooperation bodies.

It is expected that the outcome of the workshop will also help to improve the data collection activities by FiBL and IFOAM, the results of which are published annually in the yearbook 'The World of Organic Agriculture'.

Tentative programme

  • Introduction
    Beatriz Alegria, CLUSA, El Salvador and Salvador Garibay, FiBL, Switzerland
  • Overview of the data collection situation world-wide and in South and Central America. Tools (classification, database) developed in the framework of the FiBL IFOAM Survey
    Helga Willer, FiBL, Switzerland
  • Collection of basic data (land area and operators) by government authorities: Current status, data basis, challenges, practical issues (database, classification): Example
  • Collection of basic data by the private sector: Current status, data basis, challenges: The example of El Salvador
    Beatriz Alegria, CLUSA, El Salvador
  • Setting up a data collection system in countries where no data collection exists so far
  • Collection of production and of export data; Current status, data basis, challenges.
  • Collection of domestic market data (marketing channels, product volumes and values)
  • Overall discussion on data collection and future collaboration

At the IFOAM Organic World Congress in Modena in June 2008, a similar workshop was held by FiBL and IFOAM. At this workshop, some of the major bottlenecks particulary for private collection systems were identified. The papers presented at this workshop are available in the Organic Eprints Archive.

More information

Links and documents


Workshop contact

Contact for the overall meeting


The global survey on organic farming is currently carried out by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM. Numerous experts from more than 140 countries are contributing to the data collection.

In order to improve data collection on organic agriculture, since 2008 the data collection activities have been supported under the project 'Global Information SYstem for Organic Production and Market Data' by he International Trade Centre ITC and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. 

NürnbergMesse, the organisers of BioFach Fair, have supported thie survey and the yearbook 'The World of Organic Agriculture'  since 2000.

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