Development in Standards and Certification

JOAM was able through international funding (CIDA, CPEC, JEA) to make strides in developing organic standards and certification in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

The first major steps occurred in 2003. Approximately 14 Jamaicans were successfully trained to international standards as organic inspectors. Within the same year JOAM Organic Standards, which still serves as the only local private standard, was developed. The Jamaica Organic Farming Handbook, A Guide for Extension Workers and Farmers was also developed in the same year.

National Assistance

The development of this critical area of the local industry is ongoing and received a boost in 2006 from national funding, through the National Organic Agriculture Enhancement Project (NOAEP). The National Organic Agriculture Steering Committee (NOASC) was established under the NOEAP which aims to facilitate the enhanced development of a sustainable organic agriculture (OA) in Jamaica. The objectives of the project that directly relate to this aspect of the industry seek to:

  • Develop a policy document and supporting legislation for the local OA sector
  • Hold sensitization and training workshops in the principles and techniques of OA
  • Prepare and disseminate information relevant to OA
  • Facilitate international and local organic certification

Development through Volunteerism

Dr. Kathy Dalip volunteered to serve as the interim Chair of the Standards and Certification Committee (SCC) in 2003 after successfully completing the Organic Inspector’s Training Course. Dr. Dalip was officially elected to the post at the October 2003 annual general meeting. During her tenure the JOAM certification process was developed, producing pertinent documents such as the farm pre-inspection questionnaire and the JOAM inspection application form.

Dr. Janet Lawrence served as the second Chair of the SCC. Dr. Lawrence served from 2005-2008. She built on the foundation already set and during her tenure the process pre-inspection questionnaire was developed.

Frederick Boyd and Courtland Grant served as co-chairs from 2008 to 2009. Stacy Marie Bennett and Victor Cummings have also served as chairs of the committee. Dorienne Rowan Campbell is the coordinator of the JOAM certification body.