Teikei and trends toward a standard-certification system S22
JOAA (Japan Organic Agriculture Association). Hongo Cooperation 1001, 2-40-13 Hongo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
|The philosophy of the organic agriculture
movement initially included local production and local consumption. However, the
standard/certification system has not prevented, but actually increased large scale
distribution to wealthy regions and more profitable markets with disregard to the
philisophy of production for local consumption.
JOAA has made teikei the center of it s activities for over 20 years. We strive to restrict distribution to as small an area as possible. Our strategy has been to create as many small self-sufficient areas as possible all around the country where producers and consumers could be tied directly. Both producers and consumers make a strong commitment to agriculture as living closely together. Teikei movements, however, are currently facing various problems.
Meanwhile, there is a new phenomenon concerning the standard/certification system. Standards and certification programs are being introduced at the prefectural and municipal levels. Also some agricultural co-ops , consumer co-ops, and organic food distributors are establishing their own versions. But they do not necessarily promote JOAA s philosophy, they rather tend to accelerate wider distribution.
Japan enjoys diversified, traditional agriculture such as home seedraising and indigenous farming method. The teikei movement has the potential to retain these traditional ways of life in an ever modernizing society.
While IFOAM and Japanese local public programs are developing standard/certification systems, there is growing interest in CSA and teikei methods as was made clear at the last two IFOAM Asien conferences. We believe that IFOAM should advocate not only standard/certification systems, but also CSA and teikei systems in a more active manner.
We shall submit the following propositions to IFOAM to be included in principle aims of the IFOAM standards: 1) Self-sufficiency of farms and farmers. 2) Local self-sufficiency (local produce for local consumption). 3) Promotion of direct exchange between producers and consumers. 4) Creation of alternative distribution systems such as CSA and teikei.