Organica, a system of organic food development and distribution in southern Vietnam, has become the first in the country to be awarded two organic farming certificates from the U.S. and the European Union (EU).
The Ho Chi Minh City-based system was granted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic certification and the EU’s organic farming recognition for its vegetable farm in Long Thanh District, located in Dong Nai Province, at a ceremony in the city on Wednesday.
Organica’s organic farm was established in early 2013 with the support of the Netherlands-based certification organization Control Union.
The fruit of Organica’s effort in strictly following the requirements of organic farming processes of the U.S. and the EU was realized at the end of last month when a team of foreign experts from Control Union came to the farm to assess and certify its organic standards.
The 1.8-hectare farm is home to nearly 100 species of tropical fruit and vegetables, including leafy vegetables, edible flowers, root vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
During cultivation, all the products are numbered to ensure process traceability.
Without using chemicals and pesticides, as a rule to obtain the organic certification, the farm’s workers must use peppers, garlic, seasoning particles to repel insects or use nylon tarpaulin to prevent grass or utilize biological pesticides allowed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the EU.
Organic certification is considered the highest food hygiene and safety standards in the world today.
To obtain the certificate, the growers not only ensure not to use fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, stimulants, hormones or genetically modified seeds, but also have to guarantee that their organic farming practice meets environment-friendly, biodiversity and sustainable development standards.
"As we have completed the initial investment phase and obtain the certification, Organica is entering into a new development stage,” Pham Phuong Thao, the owner of the farm, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“From real-life experience in both failure and success in recent years, we will try to improve farming processes and beef up productivity to reduce future cost in order to take many more products to the market at better prices.”
Currently, Organica is planning to expand connections with individuals and businesses intending to join organic agricultural production to share experience, necessary solutions for farming techniques and how to find the market for clean products.