Environment in emerging and transition economies

EaP GREEN: Promotion of organic agriculture



In 2011, UNEP conducted scoping studies on green economy and organic agriculture in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine which revealed that significant opportunities existed for promoting organic farming. The study emphasized the multiple benefits of organic farming in Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus linked to new business opportunities, job creation, improved ecosystem services, and reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. To harness these opportunities, the EaP GREEN programme will provide support to the partner countries to strengthen the organic agri-food supply chain.

Objectives and activities

The EaP GREEN programme aims at increasing the production and the trade of organic agricultural products in the countries by:

  1. building the capacity of the private sector to access growing international and European markets for organic products;
  2. demonstrating the value and feasibility of sub-regional organic agriculture standards.

The organic food supply chain will be enhanced by the following three activities:

  • Capacity development. The programme will provide training, market information, and marketing tools to farms and companies to prepare them for establishing and expanding businesses and trade in organic agriculture. This also includes identifying tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in organic products, guiding companies in packaging, branding, and marketing their products, and documenting best practices and lessons learnt from the project activities.
  • Regional exchange of experience. The programme will organise three annual regional workshops on organic agriculture with participation of the private sector, export promotion bodies, and policy-makers. These workshops should aim to catalyse: i) development and subsequently implementation of a roadmap for policies and supply chain partnerships to promote production and trade of organic agricultural products, ii) develop capacity and share information about economic, environmental and poverty reduction benefits of investing in organic agriculture, and (iii) create momentum in the region for transitioning towards a green economy through organic agriculture.
  • Promotion of a regional standard. The programme will develop a feasibility study for sub-regional organic standards in consultation with government agencies, farms, companies and/or business associations representing them. The feasibility study will be based on a cost benefit analysis and include a roadmap to operationalize the standard at farm and country level.

UNEP is the lead partner for this element of the programme.

DID YOU KNOW? ... in Ukraine, areas under organic agriculture reached some 270 000 hectares in 2010, making Ukraine the country with the 20th  biggest organic farming sector in the world.