International organisations including the FAO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are considering the formation of a task force that would help developing countries establish administrative regimes guaranteeing that their locally produced organic foods were made without artificial aids.

UNCTAD is promoting organic production in poor countries, because its labour intensity and lack of expensive chemical inputs matches their economic realities. However, their exports are being hampered by new regulations, especially in the EU, which demand proof that  organic produce is free of residues from fertilisers, pesticides and growth hormones, evidence that bureaucratic systems often cannot deliver in the developing world.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent