GIZ supported the initiation of the Department of Organic Agriculture (DOA) within the Ministry in 2008. The DOA is in charge of the newly established Saudi Organic Farming Legislation. It is responsible for registration, monitoring and surveillance of all enterprises along the value chain, including farmers, processors and traders. In order to push the development of the organic sector information is spread and supporting policies are evolved. Furthermore GIZ assists in developing the National Organic Research and Development Centre in Qassim Region.
To support sector development GIZ accompanied the formation of the Saudi Organic Farming Association (SOFA) in 2007, a non- profit organization. It represents organic farmers, manufacturers, wholesaler, retailers and importers. SOFA incorporates all private stakeholders under one umbrella. For its members SOFA provides special services and support. The overall goal of the association is providing consumer information and promoting the organic sector.
The heart of any organic farming movement is the farmer. Currently more than 75 farmers throughout the entire Kingdom are producing under the Saudi Organic Regulation. Pilot farmers receive advice and training to serve as promoters and multipliers to attract other farmers. At present there are about 280 farmers applying for conversion. All farms are inspected and certified by international and domestic control bodies. Dates, vegetables and fruits are the main commodities. All certified products are labeled with the National Organic Seal.