Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community


Posted On: March 25, 2018

Twenty-four successful motions, including the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community POETCom) registering as a business entity in Fiji and exploring new partnerships with the Pacific Community (SPC), marked the 2017 General Assembly.

Held on the shores of Mata’utu the capital of Wallis on the island of Uvea in Hahake district, the General Assembly gathered the ten focal points of POETCom. The General Assembly was enabled with the support of the European Union Pacific Territories Initiative for Regional Management of the Environment (EU INTEGRE) Project, the International Fund for Agricultural Development Capacity Building for Resilient Agriculture in the Pacific Project and the Sustainable Development Goal Fund and UNDP Pacific Engaging Fiji and Vanuatu Youths in Organic Farming Project – A Farm To Table Value Chain Approach.

The Chambre de Commerce d’Industrie des Metiers et de l’Agriculture (CCIMA), the focal point in Wallis and Futuna, hosted the event, which was held in the Parliament meeting hall, set against the majestic backdrop of the palace of the King of Wallis, Lavelua Patalione Aisake Takumasiva Kanimoa, and the Cathedral of our Lady of the Assumption.

As part of exploring new partnerships with SPC, POETCom plans to build its identity and brand as an independent organisation, attract more funding, and expand the work of organics even more in the Pacific Islands.

Fiji law firm Munro Leys was contracted by POETCom to carry out a study to determine the type of organisation POETCom can be registered as within different contexts. The study was carried out for Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia.

A survey was carried out with members, highlighting the results of the Munro Leys study on the different operational structures POETCom could adopt in the different country legal contexts. The popular vote was for registering in Fiji.

Other proposals were also accepted: members can also now participate at the General Assembly that will be held biennially; one country has one vote; the word ‘Advisory’ has been removed from the POETCom Board name; the board has now expanded to seven to include ex-officio members; proxy voting is allowed but only under special circumstances; and a youth chapter has been established with a representative on the board. There is now also a women’s organic arm, as well as a technical, innovative and scientific research arm.

Within 12 months of the General Assembly, the POETCom Board will draft the terms of the compensation to be awarded to members of the Standard and Certification Committee who provide professional opinion on certification and production issues.

Meanwhile, a decision on levying payment for the use of the Organic Pasifika Mark and the Pacific Organic Standard has been deferred to the 2019 General Assembly to be held in Samoa.

For more details on issues and discussions of the General Assembly, refer to the minutes of the meeting available on request from .


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