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Besuch GIC grossThe group of representatives of the Green Innovation Centres during their visit On Tuesday 27th July, Naturland hosted a group of 25 representatives, managers and partners involved in the Green Innovation Centres. These centres intend to raise the income of farmers and to foster employment by promoting food processing and adding value in producer countries, thereby contributing to food security. They promote the introduction and spread of innovations along various value chains – from the field to the plate. In their approach they are not limited to conventional agricultural methods and the majority of the centres does also integrate the principles of organic agriculture into their approach.
This visit was part of an exposure seminar on organic agriculture and fair trade organised by the GIZ (German agency for International Cooperation). The participants, in particular were project managers and partners involved in the Green Innovation Centres, with a special interest in organic value chains. They came from Togo, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Ghana, Benin and Malawi.
Steffen Reese, the general manager welcomed the visitors and expressed the Naturland interest in fostering organic production in Africa, with respect to exporting commodities as well as developing local organic markets. Thereafter Naturland experts from the different departments (Fair und Social Responsibility, International, Certification) and the Naturland Zeichen GmbH provided insights into the Naturland organisation, as well as provided the guests with information on the specific requirements for certification to Naturland standards. A special focus was put on Naturland social standards as well as on the Naturland Fair certification. The participants showed keen interest and raised many questions, not only on the cost of certification. The interests of the different participants were manifold from seeking export markets for organic cacao to developing local markets for processed organic soy products. Naturland is cooperating already with the Green Centre in Cameroon, where the conversion of a cacao cooperative is ongoing. Following the talks at Naturland, the guests enjoyed a guided tour round a wholefood market in the immediate vicinity. The African guests were impressed by the great range of produce offered and the prominent market presence of the Naturland label.
Germany supports the development of 14 Green Innovation Centres for the agriculture and food sector – 13 in Africa and one in India (a 14th centre is currently planned in Mozambique). They are part of the special “ONE WORLD, No Hunger” initiative.