Bangkok, Thailand, 3-5 November 2003
A seminar jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Earth Net Foundation and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
Objective: to assist Asian countries in the production and exports of organic fruits and vegetables
There are significant market opportunities in major developed countries as domestic production of organic fruit and vegetables lags behind demand. Although this gap is likely to decrease in the long term, some export opportunities will remain as developing countries have a number of comparative advantages for supplying organic fruit and vegetables. At the same time, the market for organic foods is also growing in developing countries, offering new opportunities.
The seminar focused on the market situation and outlook for organic horticultural products and on the ways in which Asian countries could take advantage of potential market opportunities. It analysed the constraints to overcome in order to successfully produce and export organic horticultural products, and examined strategy options for the development of production and exports.
The seminar attracted some 80 participants originating mainly from Asian countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Viet Nam), though some participants came from the United States and Western Europe. The private sector was largely represented by producers and exporters/importers of organic fruit and vegetables, as well as input suppliers. Representatives of non-governmental agencies, project personnel and officials from governmental agencies also attended.
The workshop provided private sector representatives and government officials from the Asian region with knowledge about the current market situation and outlook for organic horticultural products, as well as basic information to take advantage of potential market opportunities in developed import markets in support of crop and export diversification.