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While the global organic agriproduct market has been growing steadily due to consumer awareness, health concerns, and environmental issues, the lack of harmonized standards makes organic labeling and certification somewhat unreliable in developing countries. In efforts to strengthen organic farming-sector productivity in member countries, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) along with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) is organizing the Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference in Tagaytay City, the Philippines, 13–15 September 2017.
The conference was inaugurated by Philippine Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, who also delivered the keynote address. The welcome address at the opening session was given by DAP President and Chief Executive Officer, who also serves as APO Alternate Director for the Philippines and NPO Head, Dr. Elba S. Cruz. APO Secretariat Agriculture Department Program Officer Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain also spoke on behalf of APO Secretary-General Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn.
The three-day conference is being attended by 26 participants from 14 APO member countries and 40 local experts and observers, including senior policymakers and planners, agricultural professionals, and CEOs and managers of agribusinesses SMEs and agricultural financing institutions. The conference format includes plenary thematic sessions with expert presentations, panel discussions, open forums, an exhibition, and field trips, including a visit to Bio-normalizer Nutraceutical Corporation.
The conference focuses on providing a unique platform for leaders from the organic farming sector to deliberate on emerging trends, as well as issues and challenges, and determine a common agenda for enhancing exports of organic products from APO member countries to major global markets, contributing to the productivity and sustainability of Asian organic agrifood SMEs.
Organic agriculture and organic markets are well developed in Europe and North America, while those in Asia are growing fast and expected to catch up in the future. To take advantage of this growing export market, however, it is necessary to understand the latest advances, opportunities, and organic standards and requirements of importers. Accordingly, this APO conference was designed to bring together key stakeholders in the organic agribusiness and food industry to discuss current and emerging trends and developments in the organic farming sector in Asia.
During the conference, the participants will be able to share successful case studies of SMEs exporting organic products, as well as salient issues and challenges in and strategies for enhancing their export to high-end markets.