India: Organic Beauty
Brand Expands Distribution
The organic beauty brand Organic Harvest has rolled out its products in
retail outlets in Chennai and Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu. By January
2015, the brand plans to have its products in 20 retail outlets in
Chennai, 11 in Coimbatore and 3 in Madurai.
Organic Harvest products are already in 1,500 stores across Delhi-NCR,
Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, as well as parts of Maharashtra,
Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Organic Harvest CEO Rahul Agarwal was quoted by The Times of India as
saying: "For today's consumer, beauty is no longer restricted to luxury;
it has become a necessity in their lifestyle."
"Health conscious folks are running away from chemicals nowadays and
their increasing concerns regarding personal health urges them to buy
only those products that contain 100% natural ingredients. This has been
one of the major factors behind our success."
Organic Harvest has a line of over 40 hair care, skincare and related
beauty products, as well as 16 essential oils. It operates three concept
stores in Delhi, and has plans to open six more stores in malls and high
street markets in 2015.
Natural & organic beauty products are gaining popularity across the
globe. As consumers become more aware of personal care formulations and
potentially harmful ingredients, many are turning to natural and organic
products. Organic Monitor research shows the Asian market for such
products is one of the fastest growing in the world.
Government Encourages Organic to Thwart GMOs
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala has
urged organic farmers to increase production of organic products to
counter genetically engineered crops, admitting that government cannot
force others to stop promoting Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs)
This developed as some organic farmers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
participating in the 11th National Organic Agriculture Congress (NOAC),
staged a silent protest inside the SMX Convention Center while Alcala
was delivering his speech at the opening of the Confab with some or less
"To ban is easy to say but difficult to do. I have been with them in
organic farming but I say there is a need to identify which area to
declare. Talk about the program with the mayor and let the mayor to
decide individually,' Alcala told reporters in an interview.
Alcala said it is better for organic farmers and practitioners to
increase production and strengthen organic farming practice to counter
genetically engineered technique or commercial farming.
'Live and let live,' he said. He also debunked claims of GMOs
contaminating organic farms, saying, 'It is all in the mind.'
This was also the position of Senator Cynthia Villar, the chairperson of
the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, saying, 'We have to
promote organic farming. You cannot stop that you have to counter in
order that it will not thrive.'
'We should do in a better way and not through force to stop it [GMO]),'
Villar pointed out. Villar was the keynote speaker during the NOAC held
Villar stressed that farmers could produce more in organic farming and
earn more because organic farm inputs can be found only in the backyard.
She said it is even environmentally-friendly. Alcala said organic
farming is growing in the country although it is not enough to ensure
food security at this time. However, Alcala said DA targets 10 percent
of the total agricultural farms in the country to be organic by the end
of President Aquino's term in 2016.
As of the moment, DA reported that 87,129 hectares of agricultural land
have been devoted to organic agriculture. The area is at least five
times more than the initial recorded coverage of 14,140 hectares before
the implementation of the program. In Region 11 alone, DA noted that
organic farming is fast becoming a popular practice among farmers and
agricultural practice in Davao and neighboring provinces.
DA reported that there are around 13,200 organic farmers and more than
8,800 certified organic farms or establishments nationwide.
Meanwhile, during the opening of the three-day organic farming
convention, stakeholders and farmers called on the government to protect
the country's diverse rice varieties threatened by GMOs, particularly GM
'Golden' Rice, which is reportedly set to be approved for
commercialization following field testing.
Efren Dayot, a 63-year-old farmer from Calinan, this city, was among the
protesting farmers. Dayot said he has been practicing organic farming
since the city government banned GMOs. He said he is opposing the golden
rice because it is bad for the health.
During the Confab, the farmers and other stakeholders signed a petition,
which was submitted to Alcala, calling for protection of the country's
The growing debate about GMO labelling in food
industry will be featured in the upcoming Sustainable Foods Summit. Food
traceability is a focal theme of the North American edition,
hosted in San Francisco on
21-22 January 2015.
More details are on the
Source: Philippines News
Sustainable Fishery in Kerala
Sustainable fisheries in the developing world have taken a significant
step forward with the certification of India's first clam fishery in
Kerala, southern India. The Ashtamudi short neck clam fishery is only
the third fishery in Asia to have received this recognition.
"WWF-India initiated the MSC Certification of the Ashtamudi short-neck
clam fishery in 2010 recognising the possibility of bringing in global
sustainability standards for the benefit of conservation and local
livelihoods. We are very pleased to see the culmination of these efforts
with the recognition of India's first MSC certified
fishery" said Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India.
The clam fishery in Ashtamudi dates back to 1981 and supports the
livelihoods of around 3000 fishers involved in collection, cleaning,
processing and trading the clams. Ashtamudi Lake is a Ramsar wetland of
international importance and has extensive mangrove habitats harboring
nearly 90 species of fish and 10 species of clams.
The growth of Ashtamudi's commercial fishery was driven by demand in
Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia in the 1980s and 1990s. By 1991, the
catch peaked at 10,000 tonnes a year, but declined 50% in 1993 due to
A closed season and mesh size restrictions for nets were introduced,
along with a minimum export size and a prohibition on mechanical clam
fishing. These measures showed immediate effects, and the clam fishery
has sustained landings of around 10,000 tonnes a year for the past
"We are extremely pleased to see this small-scale fishery become the
first in India to be certified to the MSC's global standard for
sustainable fishing. It will be an important addition to the growing
number of developing world fisheries that are demonstrating their
sustainability through the MSC's certification program," said David
Agnew, MSC Standards Director.
MSC certification will mean the implementation of measures to ensure
that this valuable resource is not overfished and its ecosystem is
protected. It also opens up the scope for other fisheries in India to
work towards MSC certification that will enhance conservation and
sustainability of the resource while providing greater economic returns.
The MSC certification was a joint effort by WWF, the Central Marine
Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Kerala State Fisheries
Department and the local fishing community. The certification
demonstrates the power of collaboration between partners and the
importance of grass-roots activism of fishers to protect the environment
and their livelihoods.
The opening of this sustainable fishery is applauded. The MSC and
related sustainable food schemes are gaining popularity, however few
have made significant inroads in developing countries. This
Ashtamudi project shows how a collaborative approach
is necessary to overcome implementation hurdles in India and other
The future direction
of eco-labels in the food industry are featured in the Sustainable Foods
Summit. The North American edition will take place in San Francisco on
21-22nd January 2015, the European edition in
Amsterdam on 4-5 June,
whilst the Latin American edition will be in
São Paulo on 25-26th June
information is available from the
Release / OM