This publication is sponsored by: ICCO and EPOPA, Authors: Freek Jan Koekoek, Marg Leijdens, Gerbert Rieks
The aim of this Agrodok is to provide smallholder farmers’ organisations and similar groups with the information that they need to decide whether organic export marketing activities might be right for them and what they need to do to become involved in these activities.
This guide describes the steps that have to be followed to prepare for entering the organic export market. Click here to download the guide (pdf)Index:
Chapter 1 –This chapter introduces some key issues that you need to be aware
of before entering the organic export business.
Chapter 2 - The organic market:
In general, farmers’ organisations will initiate export activities when their members are producing products which have a potential on the organic export market. The first step to take is to assess the organic market, to find out if there is a demand for the product and to know what the quality and entry requirements are for that market.
Chapter 3 - Organic production and certification:
The farmers next need to explore if their farms and production methods are organically certifiable. Organic products are produced in an environmentally friendly way that follows organic standards and are externally certified. When working with larger groups of smallholders, an Internal Control Sys-tem has to be developed.
Chapter 4 - Feasibility and investments:
The initiative must assess whether its business strategy will be feasible. Better (‘premium’) prices can be expected on the organic market, but there are also higher costs (e.g. certification). The business can only be sustainable if it makes a profit.
Chapter 5 - Developing the chain:
An export business needs a chain of actors that links the producers with the consumers. Organic production is a long-term business and it is important to develop a value chain with committed actors, who will honour their responsibilities to sustain the chain and the certification process, which is the key to the organic market.
Chapter 6 - Marketing organic export
Marketing involves promotion, finding a buyer who will pay an acceptable price and exporting the produce to a market where there is demand. Specific knowledge and skills are required to do this successfully.
Chapter 7 - Planning, evaluation and management:
Last, but not least, good management, including cycles of planning and evaluation, is a fundamental requirement for running a successful business. This chapter points out a few key management issues that are relevant to organic exports. It includes a check list on how to be successful in organic exports.