Fresh vegetables comprise a huge portion of the typical Thai and Vietnamese diet. With every crunch of a spring roll, a Thai national, or a Vietnamese is almost always certain that his julienned carrots, lettuce, and herbs come from a source that he trusts.

What is the basis of his trust? In Thailand, and in Vietnam, most of the farms are audited so they abide by clean, safe, environmentally sound agricultural practices, and are certified for it. The certified farms number to over a hundred thousand in each of these two countries.

The Department of Agriculture urges farmers to provide safe food for the public by having their farms checked and certified for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).  It may sound like added work especially for a small farm so is it really worth going through all the trouble?

These farmers in Negros share how they are benefiting – economically, socially – from their GAP Certifications.

TALISAY CITY – In line with the upcoming ASEAN Economic Integration by the end of 2015, the ASEAN Member States are gauging its efforts toward achieving its goal of free flow of goods and services across the ASEAN Region. A project funded by the European Union, the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE), seek to collaborate with the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to identify possible future partnerships through projects or activities specific on the Development of Organic Agriculture in the ASEAN Region. The ARISE team travelled to the Philippines to discuss possible projects to aid the ASEAN in its goal of ASEAN Economic Integration.

The Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards through the Organic Agriculture Registration Section conducted the 4th Seminar-Workshop on the Official Accreditation of Researchers on Organic Fertilizer from 14-17 July 2015 at the Archog’s Hotel and Restaurant, Samoki, Mt. Province.  The seminar-workshop was in line with the goal of the Bureau to create its own pool of researchers for the scientific and effective conduct of efficacy trials on organic fertilizers.  The event provided an orientation of the relevant organic standards by the DA-BAFS, and a face-to-face dialogue between the participants and the resource persons on matters related to conducting efficacy trials.

The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards, as part of its annual activities, went on an agency-wide team-building workshop last 9-11 June 2015 in Palawan with the theme: “Teamwork, Dedication, and Excellence”. While the group did the usual team-building activities, which are mostly games with moral values, the team also had the opportunity to be familiarized with the fundamentals and vocabulary of ISO/IEC 9001:2008 and the relevant forms that will be essential towards the attainment of the Bureau’s certification to the said ISO by 2016.