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GOMA Launches Website and Publishes First Newsletter

Recently the homepage of GOMA, the Global Market Access project, was launched. GOMA is a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Environment UNCTAD.

GOMA Steering Committee: (from left to right) Ulrich Hoffmann (UNCTAD), Diane Bowen (Project Manager), Nadia Scialabba (FAO), Andre Leu (IFOAM), Sophia Twarog (UNCTAD), Selma Doyran (FAO), Ong Kung Wai (IFOAM)

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The Global Organic Market Access (GOMA) project seeks to simplify the process for trade flow of organic products among various regulatory and/or private organic guarantee systems.

GOMA focuses on harmonization and equivalence of organic standards and certification performance requirements as mechanisms for clearing trade pathways.  It provides two practical tools for this purpose.  

The GOMA tools

The tools were developed by the International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF), comprised of representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations and private sector representatives, and subjected to international consultation. 

The Guide for Assessing Equivalence of Standards and Technical Regulations (EquiTool) and the International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies (IROCB) can be used by any government or private sector organic label scheme as tools for recognizing other organic standards and certification performance requirements as equivalent to their own.

GOMA project activities

Project activities include:

  • outreachto share knowledge about the tools and possibilities for cooperation;
  • pilot projects to test the tools in various environments;
  • technical assistance to governments and private sector stakeholders to implement the tools and related recommendations;
  • facilitation of new regional initiatives for cooperation on harmonized organic standards development and multi-lateral equivalence;
  • analysis of the organic trade system and evaluation of the trade-facilitating tools.

GOMA is overseen by a steering committee comprised of representatives from FAO, IFOAM and UNCTAD.  The project is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

The GOMA Newsletter

The GOMA newsletter is published in cooperation with The Organic Standard, published by the consulting company, Grolink.  Although The Organic Standard has a broader scope than Harmonization and Equivalence, both newsletters cover topics of interest to GOMA.  Since the topic has a relatively small group of stakeholders, we considered it better to partner than to compete. The partnership means that you will see some articles in this newsletter that are reproduce or adapted from The Organic Standard, and vice-versa. We will also endeavor to find other ways to expose readers to The Organic Standard, because we consider it to be a relevant and even necessary publication for many organic government regulators and certification bodies.

More information

Links

Contact

Contact

Diane Bowen
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM
Global Organic Market Access GOMA
Postal address: 9150 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Milwaukee, WI, 53217, US
Tel. +1 414 352 5789
Fax +1 253 669 7921
E-mail d.bowen(at)ifoam.org
Internet www.goma-organic.org

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