Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT)

The main goal of the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project is to strengthen the export capacity of Pacific member countries in the primary industries of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock. The project employs a whole-of-supply chain approach, assisting commercial ventures and producer groups to become export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive agriculture, forestry and aquaculture products. The project is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji and started in June 2011.

New Caledonia's Chamber of Agriculture hosts first POETCom Technical Exchange

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 15:03

An information sharing forum – the first of its kind – aimed at building capacity in the organic and ethical trade movement among the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) members took place at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters in New Caledonia the week of 1–5 July 2013.

Participants at the official opening of POETCom Technical Exchange.

The forum brought together POETCom members from the different services along the organic and ethical trade value chain, from smallholders to exporters, certifiers and ministries of agriculture as well as development partners.

Speaking at the opening of the event, SPC Deputy Director-General Richard Mann said that the establishment of the POETCom secretariat in SPC’s Land Resources Division (LRD) in 2012 was an important step.

He stated, ‘POETCom’s positioning as providing solutions to the region’s challenges and the commitment and dedication of its membership across the region makes the organisation a strategic partner for LRD, and we look forward to our role in supporting the development of POETCom and working together to achieve our common goals for the Pacific Islands region.’

Organic vegetable farm New Caledonia which supplies a home delivery ‘box’ service.

He thanked the various donors and supporters of POETCom’s current work, including the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and he acknowledged in particular the Government of New Caledonia and the French Pacific Fund for co-financing and hosting the Technical Exchange, noting that this type of support is essential to the continued development and success of the organic movement.

The event provided the opportunity to exchange ideas, expertise and developments as well as to share experiences from around the region relating to organic and ethical trade.

The substance of the meeting drew on POETCom members’ own expertise and activities over the last 12 months. Topics of presentations included: the role of animals in market gardening in Cook Islands, locally available organic soil amendments, organic taro management in Fiji, the Solomon Islands organic internship programme, organic tick treatments for cattle in New Caledonia, a French Polynesia TV series promoting organic local vegetables, organic pest management trials in Vanuatu, nursery and seed development, a farmer–chef linkages project in Palau, and an overview of participatory guarantee systems development.

Commenting on both the formal presentations and the dynamic informal exchanges, founding member of POETCom Sant Kumar stated, ‘we have progressed very far from humble beginnings, the depth of experience and what I have learned this week is beyond my expectations.’

The meeting concluded with a field trip that included commercial-scale organic vegetable production for an organic ‘box’ scheme (preordered and delivered fruit and vegetables), sheep and honey production as well as a visit to a dedicated organic store in downtown Noumea.

POETCom is the peak organics body for the Pacific region, and its secretariat is based at SPC with funding support from the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project. Its vision is for organics and ethical trade to be the key contributors to sustaining our cultures and communities, improving farmer livelihoods, communities, people’s health and the environment in the Pacific.

For more information please contact:
Karen Mapusua
on tel. (+679) 337 0733 ext. 35453; mobile: (+679) 764 2885
or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Ashley Gopal on tel. (+679) 337 9492 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may contact the LRD helpdesk: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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