Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP) Launch of the Country Report “The Green Economy & Trade: Trade in Certified Organic Agriculture – Challenges and Opportunities for South Africa”. 26th April, 2016 The Innovation Hub, Pretoria, South Africa



The objective of the Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP) is to identify, assess and inform trade opportunities that arise from a green economy transition, and tackle related risks and challenges. In South Africa, UNEP partnered with the Trade Law Centre NPC (tralac) to assess trade opportunities arising from a shift to organic farming in the national agricultural and agro-processing sector. The country study includes an assessment of challenges and opportunities of sustainability standards and certification as a means to access international markets in the agricultural sector, and an evaluation of related costs and benefits. The project builds on findings from UNEP`s South Africa Green Economy Modelling Report (2011) and links with relevant organic initiatives on national and regional level.

Based on 2013 figures, South Africa has 37,466 hectares of organic agricultural land, which means it produced organic agricultural products on only 0.04 per cent of all land used for agricultural purposes. The development potential for organic farming in South Africa is enormous, but several key barriers prevent farmers from capturing this market opportunity. Firstly, knowledge about farms and farm management is necessary to expand the production of organic crops. Secondly, an increased understanding of local and international markets is necessary to perceive and satisfy increasing consumer demands for organic products. Thirdly, a particular operation skillset is necessary to meet the requirements of eco-labels and certification schemes.

The launch of the GE-TOP South Africa country report coordinated by the UNEP Economy and Trade Branch (ETB) will be held in Pretoria, on 26th April 2016.  The report has been released following a year’s work of in-depth research and consultations with key stakeholders, including four government departments. The report is titled “Trade in Certified Organic Agriculture- Challenges and Opportunities for South Africa”.

The objective of the launch is to share the key findings of the UNEP country report with a range of different stakeholders. Key government department stakeholders, organic sector organisations, research and development institutions, civil society organisations, business, media and UN agencies have been invited.

Queries can be directed to Mrs. Tandiwe Ngorima and tel +27123548042.


1. Welcome Remarks    10h00-10h10 DTI/DEA
2. Introduction to UNEP GE-TOP Research Initiative 10h10-10h20 UNEP
3. Presentation of research report findings and recommendations 10h20-10h45 Armin Roggendorf, Tralac
4. Discussion 10h45-11h15 All
5. Launch of the Research Report 11h15-11h30 Cecilia Njenga, Head UNEP-SA
6. Refreshments 11h30-12h00 All