Organic Certification and Market Development in Lebanon
Name of the project: Organic Certification and Market Development in Lebanon
Recipient institution: Libancert; Association of Lebanese Organic Agriculture (ALOA )
Project duration: 2005 – 2008
Overall budget 1’200’000 CHF + investment for establishing the office of LibanCert
(~ 30’000 CHF)
Swiss Contribution to the project costs: 1’200’000 CHF (including reserve)
Executing Agency Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL), 5070 Frick
This project proposal is part of the technical assistance Programme in relation to the EFTA Free Trade
Agreement between S witzerland and Lebanon. The budget of 1.2 Mio CHF for this project is part of the
mentioned technical assistance Programme and will be deducted from the 4.3 Mio CHF technical
assistance budget fixed in the MOU bet ween S witzerland and Lebanon for t rade promotion activities
(Trade-related capacity-building, point 5).
The Ministry of Economy as well as numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations in
Lebanon agree that organic agriculture is an opportunity not only to face food quality and environmental
problems but also to develop new markets in order to provide new perspectives for the agriculture sector.
Organic agriculture is in a pioneer phase showing a dynamic development and a range of initiatives on
the private and non-governmental level. The biggest challenge is currently the market development for
organic products on the national as well as on the international level. Lack of local certification services
and limited capacities regarding marketing of organic products and especially quality management are
seen as barriers for the furt her development.
“Libancert” a lebanese agency to provide organic certification servic es had been initiated under the roof of
the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2004. In autumn 2004 a part time inspector had been
employed and conducted around 40 inspections. Major activities (decision on legal e ntity, implementation
of steering committee, certification activities, application for accreditation, finalization of fee schedule)
were planned for 2005. Due to financial limits, lack of t echnical knowledge and accreditation, Libancert
can not yet compete wit h the certification services of foreign agencies.
In January 2005 the Association of Lebanese Organic Agriculture (A LOA) had been founded to bring
together the various initiatives in the field of organic agriculture aiming to promot e organic agricultu re and
to develop the organic sector and the marketing opportunities.
To furt her develop the organic sector a highly qualified and competitive local c ertification body is needed
as well as capacity building on the organizational level (ALOA) and on the l evel of the organic marketing
initiatives (training and pilot projects).
In the early nineties, conventional agriculture was prevalent in Lebanon and the excessive use of
agrochemical products induced great losses in soil and biodiversity, c ausing water pollution and
ecosystem disturbance. The s eriousness of the situation led to an important concern at different levels,
signed in Mont reux on the 24 of June 2004
political and administrative. Decision makers and most of t he civil society became inc reasingly conscious
of t he importance of food quality. Consequently, a national agricultural strategy was developed with a
specific component for “organic agriculture” . On the other side, there are many farmers that still use
traditional farming methods with minimal or no us e of pesticides. First individual initiatives and promotion
of organic farming conducted by the environmental resource centre MECTA D (Middle East Center for t he
Trans fer of Appropriate Technology) started around 15 years ago. Around 2000 the first public projects on
organic agriculture (Green Line, AUB) started.
The Ministry of Economy and Trade, who introduced the request for technical help in the field of organic
agriculture within the negotiations for a free trade agreement wit h the EFTA states, as well as numerous
governmental and non-governmental organizations agree that organic agriculture is an opportunity not
only to fac e food quality and environmental problems, but also to provide new market perspectives for the
agricultural sector. During the war (1975-1990) Lebanon lost its traditional export markets and a lot of
Lebanese farmers started growing illegal crops to mak e a living. After rec overy from the war, these crops
were banned and although other crops are being subsidized the problems have not yet been fully s olved.
In 2004 there were around 50 organic farms, about 100 in conversion and another 100 expected to go
into conversion in 2005. The majority of these farms (about 200) are supported by World Vision Lebanon.
The national market for organic products is still in its pioneer phase: there are a couple of health food
shops in Beirut, a few organic markets and two cooperatives – Healthy Basket and Biocoop Lubnan -
marketing organic products. In addition, first experiences exist with supermarkets offering organ ic
products. First attempts to export organic products have been made, although so far not very successfully
due to problems of quality and infrastructure. The main customers of organic produce in the Arabic area
are currently customers concerned about their health. Import ed organic macrobiotic food is predominant
in most healt h food shops. In Lebanon, the consumers of organic produce are people with a high income,
usually well educated, concerned about their health, but probably less so about the environme nt. There is
a good potential for development of the national market especially in Beirut where the prosperity of
society is currently increasing quite fast after the recession during and after the war. Export prospects to
the European market are interesting. However, due to the traditionally very good trade relationship to t he
Arabic world, there should also be a good potential for exports to the Gulf States where there is an
increasing concern for health issues.
There are a number of constraints for the development of the market for Lebanese organic products. The
farms are small, fragmented and the knowledge about quality assurance in the food sector is limited.
Market coordination and quality management along the supply chain are a necessary requirement for
successful marketing and henc e the development of the market of organic produce.
Certification is pres ently done by foreign certification agencies, in consequence only big farmers or
companies and organized farmers (in co -operatives and/ or by NGO’s like World Vision Lebanon) do have
access to certification services. The limited access to certification services is seen by most of t he
Lebanese organiz ations and traders as the major barrier for the furt her development of organic
In October 2004 seco assigned FiBL to conduct an assessment on organic agriculture in Lebanon. From
27.11. -03.12.2004 an assessment visit took place and at the end of this visit the two FiBL experts
presented potential project activities based on the feedback from t he stakeholders. In January a project
proposal had been sent to the Ministry of Economy and the stakeholders which had been discussed in a
stakeholder meeting a few days later. The propos al is now approved by the majority of the stakeholders.
3. Objectives of the project and proposed activities
The main objective of the project is to provide technical assistance to Lebanese partners in order to
develop the domestic and international market for Lebanese organic products. This will be achieved by
establishing Libancert as a professional, in dependent and locally owned certification agency and by
capacity building in the field of marketing of organic products by means of training, pilot projects and
Randa Khoury, Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, 2004
The set up of an independent Lebanes e certification agency aims at offering a c ost -efficient and credi ble
inspection and certification for organic products to farmers, proc essors and traders of all sizes. Doing so,
their access to export and domestic markets should be facilitated. Fu rthermore, Lebanese consumers will
be protected from bogus organic products which should increase the credibility on the domestic market.
Capacity building offered to the umbrella organisation ALOA, the Association of Lebanese Organic
Agriculture, will support on the one hand the strengthening of t he organic movement by establishing a
national organization to facilitate lobbying, net working and promotion of organic agriculture, and will
provide on t he other hand direct support t o the stakeholders by offeri ng trainings t o market players,
supporting pilot projects and sharing relevant information regarding marketing of organic produce.
On the policy level this project can also show new perspectives and opportunities to the Lebanes e pri -
mary sector. This project shall therefore also contribute to a better integration of the Lebanese primary
sector into the mark et economy and – indirectly – to support the development of rural areas in Lebanon.
Project Proposal: Support given to Libancert and ALOA
seco will support the project in the field of certi fication in the following way:
A yearly declining contribution to Libancert’ s current expenditures for three years. The basis to
calculate this contribution is the business plan and budget which shows that Libancert c an be self-
supporting from the forth year on. The budget covers also the costs for accreditation, a t raining visit
in Switzerland for the Director of Libancert, participation in foreign trainings and congresses where
applicable, participation at BioFach (in cooperation with S IPPO).
Training, capacity building and consultancy (including project management) by FiBL and its
sub-contractors. Training and consultancy will not only be needed in the field of inspection, certifi -
cation and accreditation, but also in the elaboration of a business plan, management and set -up of a
commercial company, human resource management, financial planning including elaboration of a
tariff structure in order to be able to charge c ost covering prices to clients. The training will focus on
the requirements of the Lebanese standards, EU -Regulation 2092/91, ISO 65 but also on other
standards requested by the market such as US -NOP, private labels (e.g. Biosuisse), EUREPGAP,
Contribution of 50 % to the capital resource s as a loan needed to set-up Libancert.
Re-certification by an international certification body until Libancert will be internationally
accredited. Criteria for the selection of the international certification body shall be:
accreditation according to IS O 65 and NOP
willingness to further elaborate the Libancert system,
experience in cooperation with non -European certification bodies
abstain from own commercial activities in Lebanon,
Training/consultancy for a Lebanese authority for elaboration and implementation of policies and
procedures concerning the approval/accreditation of certification bodies according to E N 45011. (This
will be only applicable if the current Lebanese standards become mandatory and the government
decides to establish an approval system for certification bodies within the project period.)
seco will support the project in the field of marketing in the following way:
Declining contribution to the Association of Lebanese Organic Agriculture to engage a
Promotion Coordinator to provide the following services:
o Promotion of and public relation for organic agriculture through regular media presence. PR
services will include coordination and support of PR activities of ALOA members.
o Networking and information dispatching for the stakeholders, including the publication of a regular
newsletter and the development of a Lebanese business directory.
o Dissemination of the development, results and milestones of the Pilot Projects, as well as the
findings of the Workshops and Training Sessions
o Administrative support of pilot project and workshops
o Elaboration and implementation of a strategy to finance the coordinator after expiring of project
Supporting up to four Lebanese organic marketing initiatives (OMI) a s pilot projects. The Pilot
Projects shall have an ex emplary character for other OMI either on the domestic or on the
international market and the experiences and lessons learnt of the project shall be shared with the
participants of t he training programme. The selected pilot projects will recei ve technical support from
FiBL such as management of an OMI within the specific mark et environment, commodity evaluation,
market research, customer sourcing, product-handling and quality management and be refunded for
specific expenses that are directly linked to the pilot character of the project. Pilot projects eligible for
support must make a substantial contribution to the development of the organic market in Lebanon,
have a clearly identified need for technical s upport, must involve a substantial number of farmers at
least and have sufficient funds to implement their activities. Applicants will be tendered among
producer cooperatives, trading companies, processors, NGOs and retailers with visionary ideas for
organic marketing initiatives in various stages of realisation. P otential applicants are Biocoop
Lubnan, Healthy Basket, an olive oil project and privat e initiatives/small companies.
Training programme. During the project period, up to three workshops will be organised targeting
managers of organic marketing initiatives, consultants and farm managers. The training will address
the overall subject of quality management along the supply chain. The workshops include theoretical
inputs on marketing of organic products (including packaging and labelling), quality management
along the supply chain, as well as practical exercises and elaboration of concepts for the
participants’ own projects. The trainings will be ex ecuted in c ooperation with ALOA with the support
of experts from FiBL, partner institutions and local specialists.
Capacity building and consul tancy of ALOA: FiBL will support ALOA by coaching the promotion
coordinator and providing technical, strategic and administrative support.
Acti vities Certification
Training of Libancert’s management and staff
Training of Lebanese authority
Management and organisational consultancy for Libancert
Further development and revision of documentation for Libancert
Cons ultancy during the proc ess of gaining international accreditation for Libancert
Support of the Lebanese authority for elaborating polices and procedures based on ISO 65
C3 Supervi sion and re-certification
In the beginning inspection and certification of farms will be done under the supervision of an
international certification agency. The res ponsibility will be handed over to Libancert step by step
within the three year duration of the project.
Re-c ertification by the international certification agency until Libancert will be internationally accredited
(probably until 2007)
Acti vities Marketing
Training in quality management and marketing for managers of organic marketing initiatives,
consultants and farm managers
M2 Development and documentation of market chains by means of pilot projects
Coac hing and consultancy and support for pilot organic marketing projects and promotion of lessons
M3 Capacity building ALOA
Capacity building of ALOA
Coac hing of the promotion coordinator at ALOA
Schedule (only milestones)
The project starts with a preliminary phase to coordinate the details of the project such as:
- Final clarification and/or request of confirmations that the pre-conditions for the project are met
(active collaboration between farmer organizations and Libancert, establishing Libancert as a
separate entity and employment of a full-time management for Libancert)
- Setting up of a business plan of Libanc ert
- Registration of Libancert as a legal company
- Fine-t uning of the project activities with the Lebanese part ners
- Coordination of the training cont ent
- Selection of the pilot projects
At the end of the project planning the budget shall be adapted accordingly if justified.
Milestone Schedule Objective
Contract seco / FiBL May 05 FiBL’s role as an Executing Agency is defined
Call for tender for the pilot projects September 05 The conditions for selection of the pilot project are agreed w ith
ALOA and transparent for the applicants.
Selection of European certif ication body for re- August 05 Clear definition of responsibilities and general conditions for
certif ication/training collaboration
Finalization of the Libancert business plan September 05 BP elaborated, show ing the possibilities for self -sustainability
of Libancert after 4 years
Agreement Libancert/ seco September 05 Clear definition of responsibilities and general conditions for
Agreement ALOA/seco September 05 Clear definition of responsibilities and general conditions for
End of preliminary phase September 05 Preliminary activ ities are finalized and project activ ities and
budget is approved and/or adapted where necessary.
Setting up of the Steering Committee of October 05 Libancert implements a steering committee comprising of
Libancert representatives of all interested parties
Staff training and supervision of October 05 Training of inspectors and commit tee members; Libancert is
inspection/certif ication activities by international operational.
certif ication body and FiBL;
Start of promotion coordinator October 05 Suitable person selected and contracted by ALOA with a clear
Selection of pilot projects October 05 Tw o organic marketing initiatives are selected as pilot projects
Training programme October 05 Content of trainings is elaborated in agreed with ALOA
Set-up of the business of Libancert November 05 Libancert is fully operational (separate office, separate staff,
(consultancy FiBL ) decision on legal entity)
1. Marketing Workshop 03/04 2006 Participants are trained on quality management and
Business directory October 06 Business directory is published.
first meeting of the project steering committee Autumn 2006 Monitoring of the project’s progress
Mid-Term visit of seco Autumn 2006 Monitoring of the progress made, meeting of the steering
committee; discussion of lessons learnt and – if necessary –
changes in the project set-up.
2. Marketing Workshop 10/11 2006 Participants are trained on quality management and
Milestone Schedule Objective
ISO 65 Accreditation of Libancert 2006 start of the application-procedure
Training/Consultancy of Lebanese authority 2006/2007 Participants are trained on quality management and
3. Marketing Workshop 03/04 2007 Participants are trained on quality management and
4. Marketing Workshop 10/11 2007 Participants are trained on quality management and
ISO 65 Accreditation 2007 Libancert is accredited according to ISO 65
Handover of the responsibility for export Subsequently Libancert is operating independently and cost-efficiently and
certif ication to Libancert in 2007/2008 gets the trust from customers
Evaluation of the pilot projects March 08 The results and lessons learnt of the pilot projects are
Close of the project 30.04.2008 Settlements of accounts
Libancert is an internat. recognis ed and competitive certif ier
Internal or External Evaluation 2008 Assessment of the projects’ success, lessons learnt
4. Beneficiaries, direct and indirect
Direct beneficiary of the project are Libancert, A LOA and its members and the organizations running t he
pilot projects and/or participating in the marketing workshops. Indirect beneficiaries are the organic
farmers, food-processors and traders who will benefit from cost-efficient and credible inspection and
certification and a more professional marketing and thus from a development of the domestic and export
market for organic products. The organisations, governmental and non -government al, that are involved in
promoting organic agriculture, will benefit through capacity building of their staff and through an
institutionalised information net work.
The establishment of a Lebanese certification agency will strengt hen organic agriculture and give signals
for a furt her development of the organic sector in Lebanon. The cer tification of products on the domestic
market will protect Lebanese consumers from fraud and t hus strengthen t he consumer’s willingness to
pay a premium for organic products and, last but not least, they will profit from an increased offer of
certified organic, high quality foodstuff.
5. Organisation of the project
6.1 Steering of the project and Implementing Agency
Seco’s strategic partner FiBL is acting as the Implementing Agency. FiBL has got a long -standing
experience in the set-up of inspection and certification -systems , in agricultural extension work and in
research (both techni cal and economical). Furthermore, FiBL has got experienc e in the field of
development co-operation. Since February 2002, FiBL has also got a contract with seco to implement the
Ind-O-Cert project, since January 2003 the Balkan Biocert project, since January 2004 the Ecoinspect
project in Romania.
FiBL is responsible for the management and implementation of the project and the proper use of all
financial resources donated by the S wiss Government. The co-ordination between Libancert, ALOA, seco
and the different subcontractors is also assigned to FiBL. The project’s progress and the use of financial
resources are monitored by the seco project responsible.
FiBL assigns the project management to Mrs. Beate Huber, FiBL -co-ordinator for organic certification
programmes and involved as senior consultant in all above mentioned projects. FiBL does ren der
consultancy servic es to Libancert and ALOA and train its staff. The specific training concern ing inspection
and certification of Libancert will be sub-contracted to a European certification body not yet identified. A
call for tender will be published among the S wiss certification bodies IMO and bio.inspecta and the Italian
certification body IMC. The future project partner shall be selected by FiBL and Libancert and approved
FiBL and BIO SUISSE together set-up and developed the organic inspection and certification system in
Switzerland. Inspection and certification have been outsourced to bio.inspecta AG in 1999.
by the project steering committee based on qualification, experience and conditions offered. FiBL will be
responsible for the monitoring of all sub-contracts.
There is a steering committee (seco (repres ented by the Swiss Embassy), the Ministry of Economy and
Trade of the Republic of Lebanon, FiBL, a representative of Libancert and t wo representatives of A LOA).
Its role is defined in the following way:
- Exchange of information
- To follow the implementation of the project
- Advice concerning the strategy of the project’s implement ation and advice to the Implementing Agency
Major changes in the planned activities and provisions of funds have to be approved by the Steering
Committee in consultation with seco headquarters.
Furthermore, a binational committee will render political supervision and support to the three projects
supported by Switzerland in the frame of the EFTA Free Trade Agreement with Lebanon (Policy Advice
for WTO accession, Organic certification and marked development and Capacity building related to
Metrology, Standards and Testing with UNIDO).
6.2 Project partners in Lebanon and their committment
One direct partner is Libancert which is currently an integrated part of the AUB Environment al Core
Laboratory. Foundation of Libancert had been initiated by Greenline which identified the lack of a
certification body as a major barrier for the further development of organic agriculture. AUB was the only
interested party to set up a certification body since there were no funds available. AUB s ees its role in
facilitating t he development of organic agriculture and had already supported various activities in the field
of research, extension service, marketing of organic products. The American Uni versity of Beirut (A UB)
was founded in 1866 as a private, independent institution of higher learning and is now a major university
with a very good reput ation recognized by all stakeholders to safeguard impartiality. In the frame of t he
discussion of this project it was requested that Libancert is registered as a separat e legal entity which
could still be fully owned by A UB. The involvement of the parties significantly concerned in t he
development of policies and principles regarding the c ontent and functioning of the certification system
should be achieved by establishing a steering committee. Libancert was already planning to establish
such a committee in Dec ember 2004. Libancert ex pressed its agreement to the pre -conditions formulat ed
for this project (active cooperation with farmer organizations, establishing a separat e entity and
employment of a full -time management) in writing in the cours e of a hearing organized by the Ministry of
Libancert’s commercial operation is inspection and certificat ion of organic farms, organic food -proc essors
and traders dealing with organic products. Certification according to Eurepgap might be offered in
addition. Development of a business-plan and fixing of the final structure shall be one of the first activities.
It might be necessary to adapt a financial plan after having conc rete figures of the business plan.
Libancert will have to start wit h a three to four person team (executive director, 2 inspection and
certification staff, 1 administration staff).
The other direct partner is ALOA Association of Lebanese Organic Agriculture where all relevant
organizations and persons dedicated to t he development of organic agriculture in Lebanon are members.
ALOA had been initiat ed in 2004 aiming to promote organic agric ulture, supporting the marketing of
organic produce and coordinating the organic movement. The founding assembly was in January 2005
and A LOA is currently waiting for the official documentation for its final registration. It is expected that the
majority of the organic farmers will become members of ALOA. It was a big achievement to involve all
stakeholders and to convince the relevant players to become board members. The persons involved in
the founding process of ALOA had approached FiBL/seco to support t heir activities as ALOA has no
financial support and is initiated and run by volunteers so far (just the administration of the founding
process had been facilitated by S RI ). By supporting promotion of organic agriculture, coordination of
market relat ed topics and offering trainings under the umbrella of ALOA seco contributes to
empowerment and strengthening of the Lebanes e organic sector and supports cooperation of t he
stakeholders which is crucial in a country whic h is still marked by the civil war.
6.3 Co-operation with the Swiss Emba ssy in Beirut
The project will be monitored locally by the Swiss Embassy in Beirut. This includes the participation in the
Steering Committee meetings, the representation of seco during t he “moments forts” and the facilitation
of the contact to Government agencies. A specific agreement between seco and the Swiss Embassy in
Beirut will be formulated to clarify the cooperation modalities.
6. Results of the assessment mission / feasibility
FiBL had been assigned t o conduct an assessment on the situation of organic agriculture in Lebanon.
The assessment covered the following:
Investigation of the present situation regarding production and marketing of organic produce in
E valuation of t he potential of organic produce on local and international markets and necessary
support action for further development.
Green Line is an environmental organisation which is active in the promotion of organic farming since 2000
SRI, The Stanford Research Institute International is an independent, non -profit research institute
State of affairs and need for action regarding national standards and legislation on o rganic
agriculture and assessment of respective initiatives.
Description of the initiatives and organizations involved in Lebanese organic agriculture.
The assessment confirmed the need for support in the field of organic certification and marketing and t he
conditions formulated in the seco-strategy on organic certification will be fulfilled in Lebanon:
A set of organic standards is elaborated and shall become mandatory in 2005.
The certification agency can be accredited according to international requirements (e.g. ISO 65).
There are two farmer’s co-operations who are also offering extension service.
There is a potential on the domestic market.
There are interesting products for exports.
The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Agriculture are favourable towards organic agriculture and
the first requested the technic al assistance. A stakeholder meeting initiated by the Ministry of Economy in
January 2005 confirmed the stakeholders interest in the project and the direct beneficiaries expressed
their commitment too.
7. Synergies with other seco-supported projects
Material elaborated in the course of other seco projects in India, Bulgaria and Romania will be adapted for
the Lebanese project. In Eastern Europe a meeting of the seco supported local certification bodies is
initiated for 2005 to explore and discuss fields of cooperation among the certification bodies. This could
be the exchange of experience, development of a database to administer c ertification data, joint trainings
(also after finalization of the project) marketing activities to promote national certification bodies o n t he
Western markets, joint participation at BioFach or ot her relevant fairs (e.g. SANA in It ally, US -fairs).
The certification body as well as the pilot project will participate at the international organic fair BioFach
where synergies with the res pective S IPPO activities will occur. Marketing contacts in Europe established
within the Indian market development project (IOMDP) will also be utilized for the Lebanese products.
8. Risks and opportunities of the project, Lessons learnt from similar projects.
As mentioned above, the conditions for a Swiss involvement formulated in the seco-strat egy on organic
certification are fulfilled in t he case of Lebanon. Beside that, the following opportunities of this project are
Request of the Ministry of Economy towards technical assistance for the organic agriculture
sector and support by the Ministry of Agric ulture towards or ganic production;
Potential on the domestic market. There is a growing middle-and upper-class, concerned about
food-safety. National supermarkets and newly established markets for high quality products are
already selling organic products.
There is a dynamic development in the organic agric ulture sector and a range of governmental
and non-government al initiatives are supporting organic agric ulture.
All stakeholders came together and strongly voted for a Lebanes e certification body.
The project can considerably contribute to the improvement of the farmer’s income and help to create
new jobs in the food processing industry and its supply chain. Furthermore, organic products open up
new export markets and thus improve the perspectives for the agriculture sector.
This is now the fourt h project in organic certification, carried out wit h seco’s strategic partner FiBL.
Special benefit can be expected from the lessons learnt in the joint-projects in India, Bulgaria and
Despite promising perspectives there are also potential risks in this project to be aware of. As it is shown
in the below table, it should be possible to cope with them.
Risk How to cope with it
(1) Political context Lebanon is under considerable - The international community is strongly
transformation stress (emancipation engaged in order to ensure an orderly
from Syrian tutelage). The already transition.
fragile economic and financial - Demand for organic products comes mainly
situation could further suffer. from well-to-do strata of the population,
whose purchasing power will not be
severely affected by the absence of
(2) Corruption Inspection and certification is always - Implementation of “four eyes principle”
sensitive for corruption as inspectors - Strict enforcement of the separation of
operate independently far away from inspection and certification as required in
their office. the international accreditation-criteria
- One inspector may not inspect the same
operator for more than two subsequent
- A sample of operators will be re-inspected
by the international certification body.
- Adequate payment of all staff-members.
- Inspectors may not inspect operators they
have a conflict of interest with.
(3) Fluctuation of the Due to the uncertain economic - Careful selection of management staff
personnel situation in the country there is a - Training of sufficient personnel (e.g. not
tendency for a high fluctuation of only for employed staff)
personnel. Training inputs get lost - Providing attractive working conditions
with the retiring staff. - Implementation of an active human
- Binding staff by contractual agreements
- Consistent document system to reduce
expenditures for introducing new staff.
(4) Domestic market The domestic market for organic - The marketing measures support local mar-
products in Lebanon is still in a keting.
pioneer phase and needs to be
(5) Number of clients Lebanon is a small country so it may - Exploring additional sources of income such
be difficult to gain sufficient clients as EUREPGAP or fair-trade
inspection/certification which is not limited
to the organic sector
- Providing services in neighbouring countries
(6) Difficulties of the tra- - The marketing measures support export
ding system to marketing.
develop the export
(7) Credibility of the Credibility on the market is not only a - Careful evaluation of results in previous
certificate on the matter of accreditation. There is a risk projects (INDOCERT and Balkan Biocert
international market that a certificate issued by a start certifying for export in 2005).
Lebanese certification agency will not - Elaboration of a promotion strategy to build
be accepted by the international up trust with Western authorities and
trading community. traders.
- Emphasising the collaboration with FiBL
and the western certification body and their
(8) Rapid increase of For a small certification body it is - Using synergies where applicable (e.g. also
accreditation difficult to cope with the various Eurepgap requires ISO 65 accreditation)
requirements accreditation requirements requested - Seeking certification co-operations for less
by the market (e.g. EU, US-NOP, requested or very expensive accreditations
JAS-Japan, Eurepgap, Fairtrade). (e.g. JAS, US-NOP).
Overall objective: By 2009 Libancert i s a self-financed local certification body accepted by the
A. Success of the capacity building (competence)
Libancert is registered as a legal entity end of 2005.
A steering committee has been established comprising of the relevant stakeholders of the organic
movement until end of 2005.
Libancert gains ISO 65 accredit ation latest until end of 2007.
Certificates issued by Libancert shall be accepted on the targeted markets by 2008 (without any re-
certification). This at least in the European Union and Switzerland .
B. Financial performance and performance of the business (economic sustainability)
A business plan describing the business strategy and indicating the financial planning in order to be
fully self-financed from 2009 onwards is established in 2005.
The following number of farms should be inspected/certified each year: 2005: 40; 2006: 100; 2007:
200; 2008: 400.
At least two thirds of the Lebanese organic operators are certified by Libancert.
There should be a steady increase in the number of food-processors and traders inspected and certi -
fied. By 2008, at least 25 such operators should be clients of Libancert.
C. Public relations (marketing)
Libancert is known as an international certifier in Lebanon by 2005.
Libancert is known as an international certifier in Western -Europe by 2007.
At least two s uccessful participations in Biofach bet ween 2006 and 2008. This means that Libancert
and its clients can present a range of products representing the strengths of Lebanese agriculture
and introducing Lebanes e specialities.
D. Poverty reduction (targeting) and gender
By the end of the project, at least 400 small and medium sized farms should be successfully certi fied
(either as individual farm or within an ICS )
At least 25% of the persons trained in the framework of the project are woman.
Overall objective: By 2008 there are enhanced market opportunitie s for Lebanese organic
products on the domestic and international market.
E. Succe ss of the capacity building (competence)
ALOA is fully operational by the end of 2008
The Promotion Coordinator instigates at least 50 news -reportings in the national and international
ALOA established a concept for self-financ ement
The position of the mark eting coordinator is financially consolidated by the end of the project period
ALOA has well trained and well (democratically) functioning decision making bodies
Lebanese organic products are known and recognised on the international market by 2008.
Min. 10% of familiarity on what is “certified organic” among consum ers in the sales channels where
pilot projects are launched.
A business directory is operational from October 2006 onwards, covering min. 90% of the relevant
stakeholders in organic agricult ure. The directory is available in Arabic language as well as in English
and is consulted regularly (No. of web hits). The directory is up-dated at least biannually.
To be measured in the following way : Number of requests coming from outside Libanon to Libancert and their
increase over the years / number of certificates issued for foreign importers / number contacts at the BIOFACH-
A majority of the stakeholders consider the established directory and services pro vided by ALOA as
useful for market development (annual surveys among users ).
The Pilot Projects make a 50% increas e in turnover by the end of the seco P roject
The market share of organic products on the total sales of foodstuff increases by 100%
The products of at least 20 farmers are successfully exported
H. Quality Management in the food supply chain
At least half of the present OMI participate at the training sessions
Lebanese organic products exported by the pilot projects fulfil t he European Community Marketing
Standards for fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Traceability and product integrity in the supply chain is guaranteed