What is Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)?
The Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) is an internationally applicable organic quality assurance system [like ISO 9000] implemented and controlled by the committed organic farmer-producers through active participation, along with the consumers, in the process based on verifiable trust.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) defines PGS thus: “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.”
In addition to PGS, the Institute of Marketecology (IMO), an international organic certification agency, was invited to audit the system we use. They too have issued certificates to the farmer members.
After careful analysis of the existing organic certification systems in the country, the Collective decided to go in for Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), which is small-holder farmer friendly, less expensive, with comparatively less documentation and is more reliable.