P.O. Box 33743
+256 (0)41 226 94 16
+256 (0)77 297 91 62
E-mail: [email protected]
The Uganda Organic Certification Company, UgoCert, is a company limited by shares, founded in February 2004 as a result of a long stakeholder process to develop an Organic certification programme for Uganda . The National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU) together with other Ugandan stakeholders and international partners have led this stakeholder process to develop a company that would contribute to the development of the organic sector in Uganda by providing credible, cost effective and affordable certification services .
The Philosophy UgoCert
Agriculture is the backbone of the Ugandan economy and employs more than 80% of the employed population. In spite of its importance to the national economy and the livelihoods of the majority of the population, the agriculture resource base is degrading and poverty persists amongst the agriculture population. Clearly past approaches to agriculture development have not management to eradicate poverty. Degrading natural resource base, declining productivity of farming systems and deepening poverty all attest the past failures of the agriculture models that have been promoted over the decades.
The organic agriculture has been proven in Uganda and worldwide to be a sustainable holistic farming system that sustains the productivity of the resource base, conserves natural resources, is economically equitable and socially just. The organic stakeholders in Uganda and their supporters are committed to making a contribution to the achievements of the sustainable goals of organic agriculture. It is with the above background that they founded UgoCert to provide a credible and cost effective certification service and to contribute to the development of the organic sector in Uganda and the region. The mission of UgoCert is: “To contribute to the development and strengthening of environmentally sustainable systems by providing credible and transparent certification services. UgoCert will actively facilitate the development of realistic and acceptable environmentally sustainable production standards in Uganda and the rest of the world” . UgoCert is dedicated to working with farmers, processors, handlers, marketers of organic products, policy makers and regulators to ensure that high quality organic products are produced and brought to the consumers in an organically compliant manner .
The purpose of UgoCert is to provide certification services to producers and operators that guarantee to the consumer that the products have been produced in accordance with the Uganda Organic Standards (UOS) and other specified organic standards and regulations comprising the UgoCert certification programme. To accomplish this, UgoCert provides a certification system that combines strict production standards, verifiable third party inspections and legally binding contracts, which protect the producers and buyers of organic products.
Organic certification verifies that operations have implemented organic production systems that comply with established standards. Organic certification is however, not a final product guarantee regarding absence of residual environmental contaminants.
UgoCert provides certification services for
Organic crops and livestock production systems
Organic beekeeping systems
Wild harvest of organic products
Processors of organic foods and agriculture products.
Handling of organic foods such as packers, brokers, distributors, and wholesalers.
Recertification to the UOS
There are four essential elements of the UgoCert certification system:
Standards: Which define the minimum acceptable specifications for organic production, handling and processing.
Inspection and Audit: A means for objectively assessing whether those standards have been met.
Chain Custody Audit: A means of identifying the source of a product.
Certificate, licence and label: A clear, unequivocal and unique label indicating that the product has met the three requirements above.
UgoCert certification programme for organic products produced in Uganda aims at bringing clarity to stakeholders of organic sector through organic standards development and facilitating the marketing of organic products.
UgoCert strives to provide affordable certification services to facilitate the market competitiveness of organic products locally and worldwide. UgoCert provides the following certification services.
The Uganda Organic Standard has been developed by Ugandan organic stakeholders within the framework of the IFOAM Organic Norms. The three major advantages of certification against the Uganda Organic Standard are:
Marketing of operators organic products under the UgoCert organic mark in the growing Ugandan market, and the region.
Enables operators to advance towards achieving international organic certification by meeting the quality control system, documentation and the conversion period requirements.
Enables operators and producers to improve the organic management of their production.
UgoCert together with NOGAMU have developed sustainable wild fresh water fisheries standards which are part of the Uganda Organic Standard. UgoCert certifies sustainable wild freshwater fisheries in Uganda based on the UOS
UgoCert has developed a system for certification of production in accordance to the EU Regulation EEC 2092/91
UgoCert is currently offering inspection services for the Utz Kapeh certification. UgoCert is working towards accreditation to IOAS which will enable it offer Utz Kapeh certification.
UgoCert has cooperation agreements with already accredited international certification organisations and is managing a one stop service centre in Uganda for international organic certification. Under such cooperation frameworks, UgoCert together with international certification organisations enables operators to access certification to organic standards and regulations operating in other countries like the EU, Japan and the United States of America . UgoCert arranged certification under this framework delivers more cost effective certification services than would be achieved from any direct individual arrangement an operator may make with an international certifier.
UgoCert has developed expertise in carrying out inspections and audits of production systems for compliance to organic standards and other environmentally sustainable production standards. UgoCert provides inspection and audit services to the long term partner cooperating certification bodies according to the specifications in the respective cooperation agreements and contracts. The Inspection service is also available to interested certification bodies under short term arrangements.
International Organic Accreditation Service
International Federation of Agricultre Movements