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Transcript of Participatory certification - A Farmer Empowering · PDF fileParticipatory certification...

  • S S R A N AS R S C I E N T I S T

    Participatory certification - A Farmer

    Empowering Approach

  • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)

    An alternative to third party certification In PGS organic farmers have full control over the

    certification process and are able to produce far more credible and effective system of quality assurance compared to third party certification.

    An effort to make organic certification affordable to farmers

    A system aims to convert producers into entrepreneurs

    A system with full transparency empowers consumers with full traceability

  • Participatory certification

    Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) is a quality assurance initiative that is locally relevant, emphasize the participation of stakeholders, including producers and consumers and operate outside the frame of third party certification.

    Participatory Guarantee Systems 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 definition, 2008).

  • Guiding Principles for OrganicParticipatory Guarantee System

    Participation Shared Vision Transparency Trust Horizontality National networking

  • Advantages of PGS over third party certification system

    a. The procedures are simple; documents are basic and use the local language understandable to farmers.

    b. All the members are local and known to each other. Being themselves practicing organic farmers have high degree of understanding on dayto- day knowledge or acquaintance of the farm.

    c. Peer appraisers are among the group and live in the same village, therefore have better access to surveillance

  • Advantages of PGS over third party certification system

    d. Peer appraisal instead of third party inspections reduces cost

    e. Mutual recognition and support between Regional PGS groups ensures better networking for processing and marketing.

    f. Empowers farmers with increased capacity buildingg. Bring consumers to the farm without the need of


  • Advantages of PGS over third party certification system

    h. Unlike grower group certification system, PGS offer every farmer with individual certificate and each farmer is free to market its own produce independent of group.

    i. Consumers and buyers are often involved in production and verification process

    j. Random residue testing at regular intervals ensures the integrity and increases the trust.

  • Limitations

    Voluntary Individual farmers or group of farmers having

  • History of Participatory Guarantee Systems

    The organic movement has been a pioneer in the implementation and definition of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). Organic certification started in various parts of the world in the 70s and 80s based on associative systems that were very close to what is now called PGS. Some of these associations are still doing participatory certification today, such as for example Nature & Progrs in France. Even though third party certification (following ISO 65 requirements) has become the dominant form of certification in the food sector, as well as many other sectors, alternative certification systems have never ceased to exist.

  • In 2004, IFOAM, and MAELA, the Latin American Agroecology Movement, jointly organized the first International Workshop on Alternative Certification that took place in Torres, Brazil. It is at that workshop that the concept of Participatory Guarantee Systems was adopted. At this event, an international working group on PGS was established, which later became an official Task Force under the umbrella of IFOAM. The Task Force worked on further defining PGS, and established the key elements and key features of PGS in a document entitled Shared Visions Shared Ideals.

  • Since then, IFOAM has continuously supported the development of PGS in the organic sector. In parallel, other sectors have been looking into the concept to certify various products or processes. Still, IFOAM and the organic movement remain a leader in the concept of PGS at the international level, and are now advocating for their recognition by governments as valid local certification systems in cases where the organic sector is legally regulated.

  • P G S I S B A S E D O N N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D S O FO R G A N I C P R O D U C T I O N ( N P O P )

    PGS Standards

  • Operational Structure

    Farmer/ Farm family

    Farmer groups

    Facilitating agencies (optional)

    Regional Councils

    Zonal Councils (may be on Regional basis)

    National Centre of Organic Farming As Secretariat

    National Advisory Committee at DAC

  • Functional Units

    Local group Main functional and decision making unit

    Regional Council Surveillance and groups decision endorsement

    Zonal council Coordination, capacity building, appeal redressal, surveillance

    PGS Secretariat Custodian of data, Appointment of RC and ZC, Residue testing, website maintenance

    PGS-NAC National policy making advisory body


    PGS-NAC being apex policy making body shall be responsible for: Defining, make changes, improvements and

    amendments to the programme Selection and Authorization of National and Regional

    Councils Surveillance and monitoring on the functioning of

    National and Regional councils Sanction/ withdrawal of authorization to National/

    Regional councils on being found not functioning or not functioning according to the guidelines.

  • NCOF as PGS Secretariat

    All executive and secretarial responsibilities Capacity building, education and outreach activities for Zonal and

    Regional councils and trainings to LG leaders Surveillance and monitoring of National and Regional Councils PGS India Website design, hosting and maintenance Custodian of entire PGS India database Receipt and processing of applications for authorization of NAC as

    National/Regional Councils/ facilitation agencies Surveillance of PGS products through residue testing Appellate authority for local groups against the actions and

    decisions of Regional Councils Literature development, publicity, technology dissemination and

    awareness creation through print and electronic media.

  • Zonal Council(Regional basis)

    Receipt, processing and authenticity verification of application for authorization as Regional Council.

    Capacity building of Regional councils Surveillance and monitoring Complaint redressal of farmers and local groups against the

    functioning and actions of Regional councils Appellate authority on complaints of certificate denial by RC or

    sanctions imposed by RC on local groups Appellate authority on complaints of traders/ retailers/ consumers

    on the quality/ organic integrity of PGS products of particular group and action taken or inaction of RC.

    Collaborate PGS Secretariat in collection of PGS certified samples for residue analysis

    For State Govt Agency RCs, RCOFs shall be the Zonal Council

  • Regional Councils

    Regional Council (RC) can ideally be floated by State agencies, existing NGOs, Organic Certification service providers of Central and State Governments or any other agency having adequate expertise in organic guarantee system implementation.

    Local groups with three years standing in PGS programme are allowed to form their own RC with support of 10 local groups.

    Local groups dissatisfied with the functioning and control of their existing RC can, any time, come-together to form a new RC, provided they have support of at least 10 local groups

    Existing RCs under NGO PGS will also be considered if they apply & meet criteria

  • Role and Responsibilities of RCs

    Training and information support to local groups Facilitate local groups in data uploading on PGS website, Surveillance on LGs through participation Endorsement of LGs certification decision Can NOT pick and choose individual farmers to certify, only approve /confirms the collective decision of

    the Local Group as a whole and organic integrity of the system adopted by the local group.

    Issue ID number to each approved Local Group (received the instant ID Pool maintained on PGS Website).

  • Local Group (LG)

    Local group is the main functional and decision making body It is a local group of farmers that live in the same

    village or close villages The local group can be an existing organic group

    previously working under third party certification system or a new grassroots group started and run by local

    farmers/consumers, or it can be started by a NGO or Government agency or self help group

  • Characteristics of PGS Local Group

    Non-hierarchical Democratic composition Leadership to be rotated Every member need to participate in peer review

    and decision making Sharing of knowledge and capacity building

  • Requirement and eligibility criteria for a local group

    A Local group should comprise of minimum 5 farmers (no upper limit) belonging to close by villages with continuous territory.

    At least few members of the group shall be well versed with the PGS organic guarantee systems and National Standards of Organic Production (NPOP).

    Or at least few members have undergone training on PGS guarantee system

    All the members in the group have signed the PGS pledge Although, there is no restriction on the size of holding of any

    individual farmer but in any case the holding of one single member should not exceed one third of the t