PGS Certification – acknowledgement by our peers
Congrats to Yvette and Netanya (Farmer John) for receiving the PGS certification.
For those of you don’t know:
PGS South Africa operates according to the guidelines for Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) as defined by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).
“Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.” (IFOAM, 2008)
PGS represent a real alternative to third party certification, especially adapted to local markets. Thousands of small farmers who grow organic produce are unable to certify their products. Many established organic producers are certified by third party certifiers. It is the system most countries require for organic certification. Third party certification can be quite costly and requires onerous record-keeping and infrastructure beyond the means of most small farmers.
THE STANDARD: Growers are assessed according to a set of Basic Production Principles. These principles are based on the AFRISCO Organic Standard and in compliance with PGS requirements in the South African Draft Regulations. It must be noted that PGSSA has no relationship with AFRISCO and that AFRISCO neither supports nor endorses PGSSA. The choice to use the AFRISCO Standard as baseline is due to the fact that the standard is in general use across Southern Africa and is accredited by IFOAM.