Updated at 6.45pm: The Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre (HKORC) has set up a new certification scheme to promote organic products. Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Thomas Chan Chun-yuen said on Friday the certification system would encourage organic farmers to expand businesses and improve consumer confidence. 'Whether a product is organic or not cannot be determined simply by its looks or chemical elements. ?We need a comprehensive and authoritative accreditation system by an independent body that can ensure the organic production process and conditions required have been strictly followed,' added Mr Chan. He said the scheme would accredit local farms and processing facilities that meet standards set by the centre. More than 20 farms were expected to file applications in January. The HKORC is a non-profit-making organisation founded by the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Hong Kong Organic Farming Association and the Produce Green Foundation in December of 2002. Funded by the Vegetable Marketing Organisation (VMO), it has spent two years developing the certification system.