Friday, August 14, 2009

Certified products can command better prices on world market

Coffee being dried in a typical Papua New Guinea Highlands village. Our coffee can command premium prices if organically certified
Tom Kukhang…products must be properly certified

Prominent scientist Tom Kukhang has called for the establishment of a supervisory body to monitor certification in Papua New Guinea.
Mr Kukhang, who is country representative for Certification of Environmental Standards (CERES), told the National Development Forum that the National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP) must seriously consider financing of smallholder agricultural organisations for Organic and Fair Trade certification.
He called for a study to be conducted into potential smallholder food crops for exports.
Certification is the labeling of commodities or agricultural produces that meet a certain requirement - humanitarian, environmental, biological, chemical, origin, methodology or a combination of these – for specialty or a common market.
Common types of certification are Organic, Fair Trade, Global Gap & UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance, Starbucks CAFÉ Practices and Bird Friendly.
Mr Kukhang said certification was a marking tool which ensured responsible trade and should be used for reasons of social, economic, environmental and product quality.
He said certification also ensured personal trust, private associations, independent certification and professionalism – which all led to increasing volumes of trade.
Mr Kukhang produced graphs showing that demand, yield and prices of organic produce were increasing worldwide.
Rural communities in PNG can get their food crops, commodity crops, livestock, apiculture, flowers, wild fruits, native fruits, sea foods, coffee, vanilla, cocoa, honey, rhododendrons, sugar fruit, ripe bananas and prawns properly certified and command higher prices.
Those in PNG who can be certified include producer units, processors and packaging units and exporters.
In PNG, those who can certify include CERES (PNG/Germany), NAASA (Australia) and FLO (Germany/Australia).