License for Lebanese to give Europe organic products
The Lebanese organic products will be exported to Europe without any need for the official ministerial approvals, a Lebanese daily reported on Monday citing a recently-issued certification on this regard.
The certificate authorizing exports of Lebanese organic products was issued on Monday authorizing, Lebanon’s the Daily Star reported.
The agreement – reached on Sunday by the Mediterranean Institute of Certification (IMC), IMC Liban, Italian certification bodies CCPB and the Consortium for Research and Training on Quality and Food Safety (RIFOSAL) – was announcement at one of Lebanon’s three organically certified restaurants called Tawlet restaurant, located in the Mar Mikhail area. Italian food certification companies sent delegates over to Lebanon on a two-day mission, in cooperation with the Italian Embassy in Beirut, with the aim of increasing the quality control of local food products.
This agreement will “rely on the experience and know-how acquired by the IMC, operational in the area for over 10 years with accredited offices and local staff,” said the embassy in press statement, according to the Lebanese daily.
Besides Lebanon, such agreements have been signed in other countries across the region, including Morocco, Egypt and Turkey.
“This is a major step in protecting the health of Lebanese citizens and for encouraging Lebanese exports,” said the Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Giuseppe Morabito.
Certifications signals good hope for companies within the organic sector. The sector has increased by 10% over the last two decades and currently generates around 20 billion euros ($25 billion) a year in Europe, marking 1.5% of the entire food market.
“From here, we can understand the importance for companies to label their products as ‘organic’ after having obtained a proper certification. I want to underline again that the products’ certification increases the opportunities for companies to access markets and this is even more vital for companies from the Mediterranean area, which has one of the richest- and highest-quality agro-food heritage and tradition in the world,” Morabito added.
“Both Italian and Lebanese producers can benefit from the agreements … which are also consistent with the effort put in place by the Lebanese government to achieve quality certification of agricultural products,” he said.
Director of the IMC Remo Ciucciomei said: “We want to provide consumers, companies that are operating in the Mediterranean food chain and local authorities with our experience of over 12 years in the Mediterranean area, hoping that Italian companies develop a real attention to the Mediterranean potentialities in terms of quality agriculture and food.”