ARISE+ Trade facilitation
Trade in organic agricultural products in the ASEAN region is increasing and farmers in the region can benefit if products from one ASEAN Member State are recognised as organically produced in another. ASEAN and the EU are working towards this goal by promoting organic food production and supporting regional integration in the food, agriculture and forestry sector. For instance, the EU-funded ARISE+ programme is working to develop an ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for organic agricultural products. This will ensure sustainable implementation of the ASEAN Standard for Organic Agriculture (ASOA) and harmonise certification systems. Reduced trade barriers will also increase intra-ASEAN trade, enable Member States to improve the competitiveness of their organic agricultural products and expand market access for safer and healthier food, sourced nationally and regionally.
Thailand, like the rest of ASEAN, has tremendous potential in organic farming and trading. The regional and local market, though currently small, is growing at a fast rate. The development of harmonised requirements in ASEAN and mutual recognition of certification is most welcome as it will boost awareness about organic products, increase markets and adoption of organic farming practices nationally and in ASEAN.Pisan Pongsapitch, Vice Chair of TF AFSRF and Inspector General of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand