The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards, as part of its annual activities, went on an agency-wide team-building workshop last 9-11 June 2015 in Palawan with the theme: “Teamwork, Dedication, and Excellence”. While the group did the usual team-building activities, which are mostly games with moral values, the team also had the opportunity to be familiarized with the fundamentals and vocabulary of ISO/IEC 9001:2008 and the relevant forms that will be essential towards the attainment of the Bureau’s certification to the said ISO by 2016.

QUEZON CITY – In the spirit of cooperation within the ASEAN region, the Task Forces for the ASEAN Standards for Horticultural Produce and other food crops of high economic value, including organic crops, convened in Bali, Indonesia last April 20-25, 2015. These included the Special Workshop and the 3rd Meeting of the Special Task Force on the ASEAN Standards for Organic Agriculture (STF-ASOA) from the 20th to the 22nd; and the 11th Meeting of the Task Force on the ASEAN Standards for Horticultural Produce and Other Food Crops (TF-MASHP) which occurred from the 23rd to the 25th.

The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards, in close cooperation with the High Value Crops Development Program, the Agricultural Training Institute and the DA Regional Field Offices (CAR, I and V), conducted Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Caravan Towards AEC 2015 Forum for the first quarter of 2015.

PASAY CITY – The Special Task Force for the Development of ASEAN Standard for Organic Agriculture (TF-ASOA) was convened for the back-to-back workshops aimed at developing Explanatory Notes for the ASOA and the equivalence assessment of national standards against ASOA, held last 2-4 March 2015 at Midas Hotel, Pasay City. The importance of developing the ASOA explanatory notes is to establish common understanding among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) and to explain its requirements, which will serve as a guide for the competent authorities in assessing equivalence with other AMS. Likewise, the equivalence assessment will be the venue for the alignment of the national standards to the ASOA, in aid for the establishment or harmonization efforts of the AMS for their national standards to achieve equivalence.