MASIPAG has once more proven its leadership in organic agriculture in the Philippines.
The network’s standards for organic production and processing has just been recognized by and inducted into the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Family of Standards which “contains all standards officially endorsed as organic by the Organic Movement.” The IFOAM is a leading global organization of organic agriculture advocates and practitioners.
The Family of Standards “serves to a) draw the line between credible organic and non-organic standards, while encouraging the need for diversity and local adaptation of organic standards; b) improve transparency and public understanding about the differences between different organic standards; and c) facilitate equivalence agreements between organic standards and regulations, including unilateral, bilateral and multilateral equivalence agreements.”
MASIPAG’s organic standards — which were put in place to ensure not only the integrity of the organic products, but also to ensure the participation and leadership of small-scale farmers’ groups – was accepted to the IFOAM Family of Standards after passing the Common Objectives and Requirements for Organic Standards (COROS), an international reference that guarantees the “multilateral equivalence between organic standards and technical regulations.” This provides a sort of guarantee among governments in their importation and trading of organic products.
“We are very happy and proud to have been recognized by the IFOAM in the Family of Standards,” said Dr. Chito Medina, National Coordinator of MASIPAG. “Our farmers are sure to be more inspired to work for sustainable organic agriculture, as well as reject non-organic products and practices such as chemical-based farming and genetically modified organisms.”
MASIPAG has been considered as one of the forerunners of organic agriculture movement in the Philippines, with more than 25 years of training and developing farmers’ knowledge and skills in organic farming, as well as bringing back traditional rice varieties and improving them to suit a variety of needs and conditions of the local farmers. MASIPAG’s participatory programs on rice breeding, diversified farming, farm-based research and processing and marketing has led not only to a successful organic farming production where farmers have enough surplus to be sold in the community markets, but also pioneered a farmer-led approach to rural development. In its course to protecting and developing the traditional farming systems, MASIPAG has also launched campaigns against technologies and programs that could threaten the organic practice of its farmer-members, such as hybrid and genetically modified crops.
To know more about the IFOAM Family of Standards, click here.