Story: Strengthening organic agriculture in Thailand

7 September 2021
ITC News

“I gained knowledge in auditing & certification, on the required documentation and how to improve the overall process verification and efficiency. I now have a better understanding of ISO/IEC 17065 requirements and I can directly apply the knowledge gained in my work in order to provide better certification services for customers”, Mr. Supasun Norabin said.

Ms. Waraporn Wongpia explained, “I can apply this knowledge to promote Thai production and exports of organic agriculture products to other countries” and “The course was very relevant as it helps certification bodies understand EU organic agriculture requirements to become registered as EU organic agriculture certification bodies”.

Supasun and Waraporn, along with 22 other representatives of government and private institutions, certification and accreditation bodies active in the organic sector in Thailand were trained on the international standard ISO/IEC 17065: 2012 “Conformity assessment: Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services”.

Consumers of organic products rely on organic standards to make their choices. Product certifications, ensure that the products are in compliance with organic standards. Certification bodies themselves need to be accredited, for instance with ISO/IEC 17065, which demonstrates credibility of their certifications to win trust of the consumers.

The training was organized through the Arise Plus Thailand project to equip participants with a better understanding of the standard’s requirements, the application of the quality management system for organic products and how to set up the internal audit process in line with the standard.

The training was organized by the International Trade Centre in collaboration with the National Bureau of Agriculture Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) and conducted online by the Management System Certification institute (MASCI, Thailand).

More workshops on the new Thai organic product standards and on the new EU organic regulation are also planned in the coming months to strengthen the overall organic agriculture sector in Thailand.

This will be concomitant with efforts undertaken at the ASEAN level to promote trade of organic agricultural products in the region. These efforts will harmonize certification schemes of organic agricultural products in ASEAN, which will allow removing intra-ASEAN trade barriers for certified organic agricultural products.

About the project

The ARISE Plus Thailand project supports sustainable trade growth in the country through promoting a transparent, predictable and competitive business environment, improving the efficiency of public expenditure and service delivery, as well as enhancing organic agriculture practices in Thailand and disseminating them within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The three-year project is funded by the European Union and part of its national ARISE Plus projects portfolio to support greater connectivity and economic integration in ASEAN.