The actors in the organic farming sector include the Technical Centre for Organic Farming, which plays a central role in supervision, assistance and promotion.
The Technical Centre for Organic Farming
The Technical Centre for Organic Farming (CTAB) was created under Act No 96-04 of 19 January 1996, concerning technical centres in the agricultural sector and the ruling of the Ministry of Agriculture of 2 Octo- ber 1999, concerning the creation of the CTAB and the approval of its legal status.
– Ensuring that the results of research are in line with the real conditions in agriculture;
– Conducting programmes for the application of the results of research;
– Conducting popularisation activities to enable the rapid and effective transfer of technical progress;
– Organising the dissemination of more effective production techniques with a view to ensuring an optimised use of the data and technical knowledge acquired;
– Supporting agricultural development through training, re-training and skill upgrades;
– Providing producers with technical and economic assistance;
– Developing exchanges with institutions withsimilar or the same national or foreign interests, and with international organisations;
– Conducting studies and collecting scientific and technical information on the sector for dissemina- tion among users;
– Proposing research subjects specific to organic farming to teaching and research establishments;
– Establishing maps setting out the regions that are most favourable for organic farming;
– Working towards the development of techniques specific to the production of organic matter, breed- ing insects used in biological control and develop- ing specific processing equipment;
– Adapting technical innovations specific to organic farming with a view to generalising their use;
– Participating in the preservation of species and genetic plant heritage.
– Partecipating in experiments for the standardisation and registrations of organic input (fertiliser, pesticdes, etc.) and the update of the list of inputs authorised in organic farming;
– Participating in training young promoters in the organic farming sector and providing assistance for students in various higher agricultural education institutions.
Integrated quality, security and environment certification « QSE » of the CTAB
On 28 February 2013, the CTAB obtained the inte- grated “QSE” certificate. It is the first public body in Tunisia to obtain this type of integrated certificate. It includes certification according to the international standard for quality management systems “ISO9001: 2008” and the British standard BS OHSAS 18001 “Brit- ish Standard Occupational Health and Safety Assess- ment Series”, which is a model occupational health and safety management system.
Verification and certification
In order to certify that a product comes from or- ganic farming, operators must undergo monitoring by a verification and certification body accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture in the area of organic farming according to Act No 99-33 of 5 April 1999, Decree No 2000-409 of 14 February 2000 and Decree No 2012– 2819 of 20 November 2012, establishing the conditions for recognition and the procedures for verification and certification.
The accredited verification and certification bodies in Tunisia are:
The organic logo
In order to promote organic products nationally and internationally, an optional and free Tunisian logo was created. To use it, the product must be certified by a verification and certification body in accordance with the Tunisian regulations in force.
This logo is awarded following a request from the in- terested party, using an agreed model and accompanied by the certificate of conformity awarded by the verifica- tion body, proving that the product is obtained accord- ing to the rules of organic farming, which are deposited with the relevant department of the regional authority for agricultural development or with the Directorate General for Organic Farming, which proceeds to examine it over a period not exceeding one month following the deposit.
It is important to note that the applicant is required to transmit the labels used, and any draft changes to them, to the Directorate General for Organic Farming of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Should the application be accepted, the logo is awarded by a decision of the Ministry of Agriculture, accompanied by a document indicating the position of the logo, its dimensions, colours, shape and all the rules that are to be respected for its use, according to the ma- terials used to this end. This logo is then registered by the Ministry of Agriculture at the National Institute of Standardisation and Intellectual Property.
The 24 organic olive oil exporters are distributed over the regions as follows: 25% in the Sahel, 50% in Sfax, 20% in the north, 4% in the centre and 1% in the south. Organic producers are spread across the terri- tory as follows:
Source: Olivae, No 124
Photo by Luigi Caricato