Agriculture in the Pacific is undertaken in a diverse range of environments and landscapes that host a high level of biodiversity. Traditional farming and fishing practices, many based on a mixture of agriculture and forestry, acted to protect and enhance biodiversity as a basis for stimulating the overall performance of a farm or marine environment, ensuring sustainable food security and livelihoods. These practices also protected less tangible intrinsic values, reflecting the intimate relationship between people, land and sea.
The Pacific however is facing a number of region-wide challenges, including the effects of climate change, degradation of ecosystems due to unsustainable use of both land and marine resources, and the need to generate livelihoods to maintain populations in the islands. Increased consumption of imported, highly refined foods, accompanied by decreased local food production and consumption, is also having serious effects on the health of island populations.
In the Pacific region, organic production is both traditional and new. It is traditional in the sense that the majority of producers to this day use tried and tested practices handed down from generation to generation that are generally in harmony with the environment and with modern organic principles. And it is new in that Pacific countries and territories are starting to understand the benefits of certification for obtaining access to external markets, negotiating fairer trading partnerships, and the need for research and training to develop the sector and generate much needed livelihoods for their people.
The Pacific Organc & Ethical Trade Community or "POETCom" arose from the belief that our traditional organic farming practices when strengthened, coordinated and shared will meet the changing needs of our region and peoples and carry us forward into the future.
Our vision is that"Pacific Organics & Ethical Trade – the key contributor to sustaining our cultures and communities, improving farmer livelihoods, peoples health and the environment in the Pacific”