ECOCERT Renews WACOT’s Certification to Export Organic Sesame

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In a significant boost for the global organic food market, WACOT Limited, a TGI Group company, has once again secured its prestigious certification from ECOCERT to export organic sesame. This renewal emphasizes WACOT’s adherence to the highest international standards, and positions Jigawa state as a pivotal organic sesame source for the US and worldwide markets.

ECOCERT, the France-based global leader in organic certification, reaffirmed its confidence in WACOT by renewing the two critical certifications on January 26, 2024. These certifications validate WACOT’s exceptional processes for preparing, storing, and exporting organic sesame from its facilities in Ikeja, Lagos, and Gumel, Jigawa State. Such endorsements testify to WACOT’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and quality assurance in its extensive operations across Nigeria.

The first certificate, EU Ecocert Organic Standard (EOS), confirms WACOT’s compliance with the  EU  Regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products facilitating European and Great Britain exports. Concurrently, the second organic certificate, is in compliance with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Organic Program (NOP).

The National Organic Program (NOP), tasked with the responsibility to create guidelines and protocols governing the production, processing, labeling, and oversight of all USDA-certified organic goods, has affirmed WACOT’s compliance with the rigorous organic standards set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Rahul Savara, Group Managing Director of TGI Group, WACOT’s parent company, expressed his pride in this achievement, stating, “This certification renewal from ECOCERT is not just a validation of our dedication to sustainable and organic agriculture but also a milestone that enhances our capability to meet the growing global demand for organic sesame.”

The National President of the Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria, who is also the President, Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Alhaji Sheriff Balogun, commended WACOT’s renewal of its ECOCERT certification to export organic sesame. He said, “We are excited that a company like WACOT is putting Nigeria’s sesame on the map. Celebrating WACOT’s ECOCERT certification is not just about recognizing their commitment to organic sesame exports; it’s a testament to Nigeria’s prominence in the global commodities market. This milestone is a source of encouragement for other players in the Nigerian market to continue to seek ways and seize the opportunity to expand the footprint of Nigeria’s high-quality commodities across the world.”

Yosola Onanuga, Head of Sustainability at TGI Group, highlighted this renewal’s broader impact, noting that “It is a testament to our collective effort in promoting sustainable farming practices and enhancing the livelihoods of over 10,000 farmers through our initiatives in Jigawa State.”

As one of the world’s leading sesame producers, Nigeria sees approximately 80% of its production exported annually, with WACOT at the forefront of this highly demanded crop cultivation. Over the past six years, WACOT’s approach has improved agricultural practices and yields and established a robust support system for farmers, including the pioneering WACOT Sesame Academy.

In the same period, WACOT disbursed over ₦1 billion in input credit financing for farmers, such as certified seeds, fertilisers, and other crop protection tools. They also provided a guaranteed market for conventional sesame produce through a buy-back arrangement with farmer cooperatives.

With the global sesame market projected to reach USD 21.57 billion by 2028, WACOT Limited’s role is more crucial than ever. This certification renewal marks a significant milestone for WACOT and Nigeria’s agricultural sector, paving the way for continued growth, innovation, and sustainability in the years to come.

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