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Namibian Organic Association
Fax: +264 (0) 811 29 55 75
the NOA newsletter
The Namibian Organic Association (NOA) is a membership based association established by a group of dynamic farmers and consumers with the common interest of developing the organic sector in Namibia.
The association has the objective to support a sustainable management system for agriculture in Namibia, that:
- respects nature's cycles
- enhances environmental awareness through the sustainable improvement of the health of soil, water, plants, animals and consumers, their interconnectedness and balanced relationships contributes to a high level of biological diversity;
- makes responsible use of energy and the natural resources, such as water, soil, organic matter and air;
- respects high animal welfare standards and in particular meets animals’ species-specific behavioural needs.
- To promote the efficient production of organic produce through capacity building, training, education, extension and research;
- To develop and maintain Namibian Organic Standards for organic production, processing and labeling;
- To maintain a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) which guarantees that the organic standards are followed by the producer and/or processor;
- To protect the “organic” labelling for locally organic produced and/or processed products as owner of a registered trademark;
- To assist with organised marketing of organic produce locally and internationally;
- To strengthen and maintain a positive relationship amongst producers, buyers processors and consumers of organic products;
- To serve as a mouthpiece and contact point of the organic industry in Namibia and internationally;
- To create a spirit of co-operation amongst the various organic industry players;
- To promote co-operation amongst organic producers in respect of obtaining inputs, storing, handling and processing of organic produce to maximize economical viability of the organic sector in Namibia.
- To convey the opinion of the organic producers and consumers to the Government and Governmental Institutions and co-operate with them in eliminating obstacles.
- To increase awareness for organic agriculture in Namibia.
|Eckhart Förtsch (Chairperson)|
Producer - Farm Olifantwater West
Producer of organic livestock, vegetables
Manjo Krige - Previously Smith (Vice-chairperson)
Owner of Greenspot Organics - producer of organic herbs and vegetables in Okahandja, Namibia
Experience in organic market sector development since 2004
Previous Boardmember: IFOAM Organics International
Ina Cramer (PGS Farm Assessment Coordinator)
|Producer - Farm Rogers|
Producer of organic yoghurt and various ice cream products
|Honors in Consumer Science, University of Stellenbosch|
Qualification in Clinical Nutrition & Supplementation - Australia
Previously owned an organic shop and was involved in organic markets - South Africa
Co-founder of Slow Food Movement Stellenbosch - South Africa
Lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) - Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
|Producer on Farm Krumhuk - coordination of organic vegetable garden and chickens|
Employee of CERES GmbH (Germany) 3rd party organic certification for EU organic, NOP and JAS (country coordination South Africa, evaluation officer, inspector)
B.Sc Organic Agriculture, M.Sc. Sustainable international Agriculture with a focus on organic agriculture. University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany.
Lawrence Haw (Treasurer)
|Consumer of organic products|
Mentors a number of businesses interested in organic operations, from producer to re-seller.
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration
Qualifications: Certified Public Accountant (Michigan 1981), Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor
Organic standards are the rules and regulations that define how an organic product must be produced. Any food labelled 'organic' that is for human and animal consumption must meet these standards as a minimum. The standards cover all aspects of food production, from animal welfare and wildlife conservation, to food processing and packaging.
Organic standards ensure that you can be certain that you are buying a genuine organic product that has been produced in line with our principles. Imported organic foods must have been produced and inspected to internationally accepted standards, e.g. EU organic regulations. There must also be full traceability of organic ingredients back to the producer.
The Namibian Organic Standards for organic production, processing and labelling is based on the IFOAM Norms for Organic Production and Processing. Download it here.
The Namibian Organic Association assesses Namibian farms according to IFOAM’s Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), which serve thousands of farmers and consumers around the world.
NOA’s PGS is a local organic assurance system for Namibian organic produce which provides a credible, relevant and cost effective mechanism through which producers can provide an organic guarantee to consumers. It embodies the active participation of producers, and other stakeholders such as consumers and traders in their peer-reviewed organic guarantee process. The strength of NOA’s PGS is that the members have intensive local knowledge about the agricultural conditions in Namibia which makes the assessment relevant for local conditions.
The elements of the NOA PGS are:
1. NOA Standards: The NOA standards are based on the IFOAM Norms.
2. Certification Mark: NOA producers either receive the “Namibian Organic” or “Namibian Organic in Conversion” mark when producers are in the 2 or 3 year conversion period before becoming fully organic.
3. Documented Management systems and procedures: For an organic guarantee system to be transparent and to be able to deliver on a consistent and equitable basis, the NOA PGS is well documented with the NOA Organic Standards, Producers Database, PGS Operations Manual and Individual Farm Assessment notes, recommendations and conditions for future assessments.
4. Pledge: During each assessment, the producer needs to provide a pledge that all statements made in the application are true and correct and that no prohibited chemical products have been used in the management of any the organic fields, crops and livestock. The producer also commits him/herself to unannounced assessment visits, and will provide right of access to all appropriate facilities.
5. Defined consequences for non-compliance: Non-compliances to the Standards are dealt with individually and depends on the severity of each case. NOA will institute corrective and/or preventative actions required to bring the operation back to organic integrity, whether the contravention with the Standards was intentional or not. Actions may include immediate cancellation of the organic status, withdrawal of specific product lines from the market and whether the farm, or sections of the farm remain, are subject to a conversion process.
The application of penalties due to non-compliance is transparent, and the outcomes are publicly available on the NOA website.
6. Transparency: The NOA PGS system is based on a complete transparent, formal, and systemised decision making process. Participation embodies the principle of a collective responsibility for ensuring the organic integrity of the PGS and products bearing the Namibian Organic Mark . This collective responsibility is reflected through shared ownership of the PGS, stakeholder engagement, and direct communication between producers, consumers and other stakeholders.
In addition to the appointed assessment team, any fellow organic farmer, consumer, retailer or trader, which are registered NOA members, are welcome to attend an organic assessment as an observer. NOA is keen to increase the number of qualified assessors, so let us know if you are interested in joining this process.
Have an experience and make a difference
If you would like to find out more about organic food and farming, why not visit an organic farm? Tell us what you would like to see and experience, and we can put you in contact with the relevant farmer.