Weekly News Bulletin - Organic Quality Management Systems 23/05/16
HOW CONSUMERS CAN DISTINGUISH ORGANIC FROM CONVENTIONAL PRODUCTS IN THE MARKET
A wide range of pesticides is used for pest management and vector control in agricultural areas, but many farming communities in Tanzania are not adequately informed about the hazards associated with the chemicals. As a result, farmers use pes/cides without full understanding of their impact on human health and the environment.
Increased consumer awareness on health and environmental impacts in relation to agricultural produc/on systems has led to growing demand for organic produce worldwide. But how can you identify organic produce in Tanzania?
Internal Quality Management Systems (IQMS) used by organic farmers can assure consumers of the integrity of organic products. There are three different levels of IQMS, each targeted to different consumers/ markets:
Self-claim: This focuses on a farmers growing their produce organically and targeting their neighbours as their customers. These systems are based on trust amongst neighbours. Customers can visit the farms of organic producing neighbours to observe associated farming practices for verification.
Participatory Guarantee System (PGS): PGS are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange. The targeted market under this system is the national (domestic) and regional market. In East Africa, farmers can attain the kilimohai Mark (pictured in title line, right) by implementing PGS.
Internal Control System (ICS): ICS is the part of a documented quality assurance system that allows an external certification body to delegate the periodic inspec/on of individual group members to an iden/fied body or unit within the certified operator. This means that the third party certification bodies only have to inspect the functioning of the system, as well as to perform a few spot-check “re-inspections” of individual smallholders. This is needed for producers who wish to sell on the export market, as many consumers are familiar with international certifying boards such as the European Union Standards, or the Japanese Standards.
For PGS and ICS, upon successful implementation of the system, the producer organization is awarded a license to use the organic mark according to the given Standard. The use of the mark on branding products helps consumers to distinguish organic from conven/onal products in the market.
FARMERS IN ARUSHA RECEIVE LICENSE TO USE THE KILIMOHAI MARK
KANA and JOING KB PGS groups were issued with cer/ficates and licenses to use the Kilimohai Mark during TOAM's 10th Year Anniversary celebrations in Dar es Salaam last November.
The groups were capacitated and monitored by TOAM in collaboration with Mesula Co Ltd based in Arusha.
The role of Mesula is to support farmers with organic farming trainings and management of PGS groups. Mesula buys organic produce from farmers in Arusha and sell in their outlet.