POETCom is a not for profit membership organisation with active members (farmers associations, farmer support organisations, NGOs, private sector, research institutions and working with governments) in 15 countries of the Pacific Island region with the Secretariat hosted by the Land Resources Division of the Pacific Community in Suva, Fiji.
The Pacific Islands are home to a wide range of societies and cultures from which have evolved diverse social structures and values. There are, however, some commonly held values including the importance of land. The people of the Pacific acknowledge land as their lifeblood and have a spiritual relationship with it that often includes recognition of many intangible values. The extended family and village, and the obligations and benefits that arise from these networks, are also a key feature of Pacific life. Family and community relationships are strengthened by a communal approach to work and life.
Many traditions have been established to protect the interests of individuals and groups and these coupled with contemporary approaches to ensure that the principles of social justice and human rights, women’s empowerment are an integral part of organic agriculture and fair trade in the Pacific. Central to all concepts of fair or ethical trade is the need to establish fair and sustainable trading relationships based on trust, transparency, gender equity, accountability and continuity and the Pacific is embracing various fair trade certification and labelling schemes to assist consumers to identify Pacific products that are trailed under these principles. As a tool for sustainable development, organic agriculture touches on key areas of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The POETCom secretariat in Fiji and focal points and members in Pacific nations work to develop the tools, education and support to make organic agricultural practices and produce an attractive and rewarding alternative for farmers and consumers.
The Organic and Ethical Trade movement in the Pacific Islands grew from the shared belief of organic producers across the region that traditional agricultural practices which have sustained a high quality of life and food security in our islands for generations when supplemented with new innovations and technologies in organic agriculture could assure a continued quality of life and ongoing food security as well as the opportunities for livelihood development through the marketing of our organic produce to the world.
An important aim of this movement is the conservation of the natural resources: fertile soil; clean water; rich biodiversity and also cultural diversity and traditional values. The art of organic farming is to make the best use of ecological principles and processes appropriate to needs of Pacific farming families.
The Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) was born from these shared beliefs and common desire to contribute to the sustainable development of our region.
Organics and ethical trade: the key contributor to sustaining our cultures and communities, improving farmer livelihoods, people’s health and the environment in the Pacific.
Through coordination, information sharing, networking, capacity building and establishing a regional certification scheme our mission is to grow the organic and ethical trade movement and contribute to a productive, resilient, sustainable and healthy Pacific Island region.
We work with people and nature, leading to the development of organic agriculture in the Pacific Islands region.