ARISE Plus has been assisting the supported the ASEAN Experts Group on Organic Agriculture (EWG-OA) to develop a mutual recognition agreement on organic agriculture (MRA-OA). EWG-OA comprises of representatives from national agencies responsible for Organic Agriculture in the Member States
EWG-OA has embarked upon this as part of its strategies to promote the adoption of Organic Agricultural practices in ASEAN through enabling the recognition of certification undertaken in one member state to be recognised across the 10 Member States. The certification that will be provided under the MRA-OA would provide credibility to qualified producers and provide market access across ASEAN. This initiative builds upon the previous work accomplished in the development of the ASEAN Organic Standard and the ASEAN Guidelines on Organic Certification.
The proposed MRA-OA and the referenced ASEAN Organic Certification Scheme have been developed with the objective to ensure that international norms for organic certification are adhered to, while providing a degree of flexibility to Member States, in view of national differences in regulations and infrastructure. It is intended that products certified to be organic by producers in compliance with the MRA-OA and the Certification Scheme will be recognised in the market-place as truly organic. Such certification will additionally facilitate exports to destinations outside of ASEAN.
The on-line Workshop held on 26 and 27 January was the 3rd round of discussions and deliberated on the draft text of the MRA-OA, the ASEAN Organic Certification Scheme and a proposal for an ASEAN Organic Mark. Substantial consensus on the content was achieved during the deliberations. The EWG-OA aims to continue working towards a consensus with the support provided by experts from ARISE Plus.