Organic produce has quality, but cost more

Certified organic produce will cost more than normal produce but consumers can be assured of its quality, says Matuaileoo Environment Trust Inc (M.E.T.I.).

M.E.T.I. Training Officer, Maiava Taua Letogai, told the Samoa Observer that certified organic produce will cost more than normal produce but its quality is assured as its organic.

He said the launching of a logo on Friday as a seal of certification of organic produce would assist Samoan farmers as it is an assurance of their products’ quality.

“If there is no seal, then no one will buy it because it is not certified,” he says. “People know that there is more value in buying organic produce over $2 non-organic produce.” 

Maiava said the principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.

Last Friday’s logo launch was for a seal of certification which farmers will need to show when selling as proof that their produce is organic.

There is a difference in the quality, added Maiava and people will know when they buy them.

The logo launch was also an opportunity to address the concerns that came with organic farming. 

Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimise the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. 

Certified organic agriculture accounts for 70 million hectares globally, with over half of that total in Australia.

A lot of Samoans today rely on chemicals to farm which Maiava said should not be accepted as Samoan farmers traditionally did not use pesticides.

“Samoa must return to their traditional ways of farming. If you look back at our ancient history of Samoan agriculture, we do not see the use of any pesticides.”

There is an increasing use of pesticides to make variants of banana crops in Samoa, Maiava added, but we should discard practices promoting the use of non-organic farming techniques. 

The M.E.T.I. also trains local communities in organic farming techniques, in partnership with the Participatory Guarantee Scheme (P.G.S.) and Government stakeholders. 

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