Staying current with European Union organic regulations in Thailand
Organic rice represents the largest crop acreage, approximately 149,625 hectares in Thailand according to the World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Trends 2021.
0.7 percent of the total volume of organic import to the European Union (EU) comes from the country.
Although the number represents a small proportion of the total EU organic import, the volume of rice imported from Thailand represents significant share of the total volume of imported organic rice. For example, in 2021, the share of organic rice imported from Thailand stood at 9.6 percent of the total import of organic rice to the EU, just behind Pakistan and India.
These figures serve as a reminder about the significant untapped potential for organic products, especially organic rice export to the European Union (EU).
The new EU organic regulation (EU 2018/848) that came into force recently aims to harmonise production rules for operators in the EU and worldwide. It also aims to ensure that agricultural products, particularly imported products achieve the required quality.
A workshop was organised in Bangkok to raise awareness on key changes in the new organic regulation in the EU. It helped operators and regulators to comprehend the new regulatory requirements and to identify the effects on the current organic operations in Thailand.
Local organic producers will now be able to align their current operations for timely compliance with the EU standards. The feedback from participants will be instrumental in finalizing guidelines on the new EU regulation to support all stakeholders in accurate compliance.
Khun Pariyada Payoongtham, Vice President of Technical Service Department at Management System Certification Institute (MASCI), a private certification body, said she found the workshop relevant to her work, and provided an insightful and clear analysis of the new regulation including practical recommendations for the organic producers.
As Thailand continues on its path to recovery post-Covid 19, by incorporating the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) in its national strategy, organic agriculture will complement the country’s vision to achieve green growth by promoting sustainability and biodiversity as well as reaffirm Thailand’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint to fight against climate change.
Organic agriculture enables Thailand not only to meet its green growth target but also helps the country’s path towards achieving SDGs such as Climate Action (SDG13), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG3) and Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12).
The workshop was organized in collaboration with the National bureau of Agriculture Commodity and Food Standards and targeted competent authorities, certification bodies, farmers and business operators in the Thai organic sector.
About the project
The ARISE Plus Thailand project aims to support sustainable trade growth in Thailand by contributing to achieve a more transparent, predictable, and competitive business environment, improve efficiency of public expenditure and service delivery, enhance organic agriculture practices and disseminate them within Thailand and other ASEAN countries.
The 3-year project is funded by the European Union (EU) and part of its national ARISE Plus projects portfolio to support greater connectivity and economic integration in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The project was designed and is implemented jointly with the Government of Thailand, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), through the Department of Trade negotiations (DTN). Partners for project implementation include the Office for Trade Competition Commission (OTCC), the Comptroller General Department (CGD), the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), and the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS).
Ultimate project beneficiaries include Thai Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) which will benefit from improved business environment, policies, and processes to increase their competitiveness.