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International task force launches two tools to facilitate trade in organic products

Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD and Urs Niggli, Director of FiBL (picture)

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The International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalency in Organic Agriculture ITF concluded its work on October 7, 2008, with the launch of two practical tools intended to ease trade in organic agricultural products: the International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies IROCB and the Tool for Equivalence of Organic Standards and Technical Regulations EquiTool.

The tools were launched by Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD (picture), Alexander Müller, Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, and Urs Niggli (picture), Vice President of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM. All urged that these measures and other task force recommendations be employed worldwide.

The launching was followed by a reception featuring organic food - the first held at Geneva´s Palais de Nations.

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 International Task Force on Harmonisation and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture ITF is a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO of the United Nations, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture MovementsIFOAM and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD.

Further information

Contact

  • United Nations Conference for Trade and Development UNCTAD
    Trade, Environment & Development Branch
    Dr. Sophia Twarog
    Palais des Nations
    1211  Geneva 10
    Switzerland
    Tel. +41 22 917 1330
    Fax  +41 22 9170247
    www.unctad.org/trade_env/topicOA.asp

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