The oldest organic certification authority in Australia, the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture (Nasaa) is helping nations in the Pacific develop their organic sector. Nasaa is committed to developing and serving organic suppliers in Australia and beyond.
Last month, Nasaa invited organic inspectors from Pacific nations, such as Fiji and the Solomon Islands, to learn skills, techniques and practices that Nasaa officials use regularly in Australia.
Organic inspectors are a pivotal part of the organic farming community in these areas. They are in charge of examining the processes of the business or farm, paying attention to their methods of production, processing and handling. They will inspect farms, land and livestock, buildings and equipment and be on the look out for any contamination risks.
The focus was on educating the inspectors, with the training involving lessons on technical knowledge, organisational skills, travel preparations for inspections, oral communication skills and written communication skills.
All of these things can help people to develop a career in the organic sector, and from this position spread their knowledge about organic production. Nasaa taught practices and such that were both realistically able to be used in Pacific nations, and would provide many positive benefits, contributing to the developing nations farming sector.
Knowledge is power, and with these tips and tricks remote, rural and underdeveloped areas can have sustainable, locally-owned organic businesses. And these businesses can provide economic benefits for the community at large.
Organic certification is notoriously expensive and difficult to obtain and maintain, so this training was also a way to make it more accessible for island communities where resources are not the same as they are here in Australia. Sharing information could prove to empower Pacific countries to boost their organic farming culture and encourage producers to switch to more natural methods.