The Board Meeting
The Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community held its first Board meeting from 3-6 July in Suva, Fiji, agreeing to carry out a review of the organisation before revisiting a decision to explore new partnerships with the Pacific Community (SPC).
The POETCom Secretariat is located within the Land Resources Division of SPC and contributes to the fourth pillar of work goals – Markets and Livelihoods.
The review to be carried out by an independent expert will look at the organisational structure of POETCom and its effectiveness as well as the management of the Pacific Organic Standard (POS). POS prescribes standards to be met in organic agriculture development.
Another important issue discussed is the review of POS itself. This review will look at the technical coherence of POS against main standards known worldwide and its possible evolution.
Members of the Board
Terms of references for both reviews are being drawn up and a taskforce consisting of board members and technical expertise to oversee it was established.
Board Chairperson Dr Jone Hawea said the meeting was a fruitful one with the development of the strategic plan and clear goals for the future of POETCom.
Dr Jone Hawea
POETCom has also started preparations for the next General Assembly earmarked for October 2019 in Samoa, with board members forming a committee to coordinate preparations.
Early preparations will ensure enough funds are also raised to cater for the GA that is planned to be held back to back with the Pacific Week of Agriculture to be hosted by Samoa.
Member organisations of POETCom can participate at the GA but only focal points have voting rights. POETCom currently has 10 focal points that lead the development of organic agriculture in their countries.
The board has also established a finance sub-committee that along with raising funds for the organisation’s operations; prepare its annual budgets and a Financial Report to be part of the Annual Report.
A key highlight of the meeting is the development of the next five years strategic plan.
The old strategic plan ended in 2017.