Organic agriculture is such a vital component of nature's cycle of sustainability that countries around the world have included it in their national green industry policies, with laws supporting and regulating this important method of safe food production. For its part, Taiwan promulgated the Organic Agriculture Act on May 30, 2018 to mark a new milestone in the development of organic and eco-friendly farming practices. This law is the first of its kind in Taiwan and one of few worldwide dedicated to the development of the organic agriculture industry.
Key points of the act
1. Equal emphasis on regulation and guidance
In addition to the third-party organic certification regulations currently in place, the act requires competent authorities to adopt a raft of guidance measures to assist farmers, including guidance on environmentally friendly farming practices. This dual emphasis on regulation and guidance will help increase the amount of farmland dedicated to organic and eco-friendly agriculture.
2. Balance farmer and consumer rights
In cases where an organic farm is contaminated by an adjacent non-organic farm despite having taken protective measures, and the local competent authority has confirmed the adjacent farm to be the source of contamination, the organic farm will not be penalized but will only be obligated to recall the affected produce for the protection of consumers.
3. Promote bilateral organic equivalency recognition
For countries that fail to sign a bilateral organic equivalence mutual recognition agreement with Taiwan within one year after the implementation of the act, Taiwan will announce the abolishment of equivalence recognition with those countries. This is intended to prompt other countries to more vigorously pursue bilateral organic equivalency recognition with Taiwan, which in turn can open the way for offshore certification services and enlarge the scope of Taiwan's organic industry.