Although Lebanese farmers could profit from the growth of the organic market in the world, only certified farmers who meet strict standards can access these markets, said Beate Huber, representative of FiBL, a Swiss institute for organic farming acting as adviser to LibanCert.
This is where LibanCert
, operating under the umbrella of the American University of Beirut
, has a role to play.Following a process of inspection and surveillance, the company grants certificates to operators proving that their production farms and processing units are in conformity with international organic standards, said the manager of LibanCert Roula Fares
.Organic farming is a production system that avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers and pesticides and conforms to strict production standards.Fares said that certification fees will be very competitive compared to those of international certification bodies in order to encourage farmers to go organic.While there are 420 certification bodies all over the world, very few offer their services in Lebanon.Their disadvantage is that they charge high prices and are not very knowledgeable about local conditions, Huber
With a total market volume for organic products worth around $42 billion worldwide in 2004, Lebanese farmers can profit from the international search for new products and suppliers, Huber