First “organic initiatives” in the late 1990s and early 2000s
The official starting point of the organic movement in Albania relates to the foundation of the Organic Agriculture Association (OAA) in 1997
This association gathered a group of intellectuals aiming to promote organic agriculture in Albania.
As part of OAA’s activities, the first farms started to produce according to organic principals.
It was this association that was then approached by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).
In 1999, FiBL was mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to assess the situation and propose an agricultural project to enhance the living conditions of the rural population through the introduction of organic production practices.
The project that resulted from this initial assessment was the SASA project (Sustainable Agricultural Support in Albania)
In the coming years, the organic movement in Albania grew mainly because of the SASA project. Involving different stakeholders and backed up by the local SDC office in Tirana, SASA was able to quickly bring organic on the agenda of the government. The most important milestone of this partnership with the government was the issuing by 2004 of the Albanian law on production, processing, certification and marketing of organic products” based on EU regulation 2091/92 and IFOAM standards.
2001-2006 SASA was successfully was coordinated by Lavdosh Ferruni