Demand within the UK for organic food is increasing dramatically. Much of this demand is met by imports, including many product categories from the developing world. Organic standards in Europe are rigorous, with all stages of the organic marketing chain regulated by law and guaranteed within each member state by a ‘competent authority’. The paper provides a detailed review of current mechanisms of certification and inspection and discusses the obstacles to becoming certified that confront organic producers in the developing world. The paper goes on to report on the breadth and acceleration of organic imports into the UK from the developing world, utilising data recently made available by the European Commission and the UK’s organic regulatory authority. Already over 60 countries are involved in this increasingly global trade and some countries, for example, Brazil, Mexico and Sri Lanka, dominate current import authorisations. Cost-effective certification is essential for an expansion of this trade.
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- globalisation of organic trade
- organic certification
- organic exports from developing countries
- UK organic market