Over the past few years in Taipei I’ve noticed an explosion in organically labelled food on the shelves and ‘organic’ mini marts that sell it, in my area of Mingsheng Community.
In my home country it took years to get certifications as the move from conventional to organic is slow as the pesticide residues take years to tail off. In fact there was a separate classification ‘in conversion’ which was somewhere in between the organic and conventional price.
However it seems in Taiwan there is no shortage of organic fruit and veges in my area. The term organic is thrown around a lot, my kids apparently eat organic rice at school according to the menu, and my neighbour gave me some wu long tea the other day that is apparently organic too!
A brief click through the TOC website, one of the certifications I see plastered on everything at Orange mart, reveals no real information on the certifying process and nil transparency on data. Basically an agent says it is USDA organic or not after testing some samples at the farm. No mention of any independent oversight of the agent’s activities. Indeed, no acknowledgement of the conflicted nature of the agent as a single sign off authority. Does that not sound like moral hazard?
Wondering what other people’s views are on the thriving organic produce market in Taiwan, is it worth it for you to shell out the cash? Is there a certification which is more trustworthy than others?