PGS stands for Participatory Guarantee Systems, which the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) defines as “locally focused quality assurance systems”.
PGS certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks, and knowledge exchange. They represent an alternative to third party certification, especially adapted to local markets and short supply chains. PGS serve producers and consumers eager to maintain local economies and direct, transparent relationships.
PGS can also complement third party certification with a private label that brings additional guarantees and transparency. PGS enable the direct participation of producers, consumers and other stakeholders in:
– The choice and definition of the standards
– The development and implementation of certification procedures
– The certification decisions
PGS is also referred to as “participatory certification”. PGS initiative are serving thousands of small organic farmers and their consumers all over the world, and the numbers are increasing every year.
IFOAM and the organic movement remain a leader in the concept of PGS at the international level. IFOAM is running a program to recognise PGS in the organic sector and advocates for the recognition of PGS by governments.
PGS is a tool that can be adopted not only for organic agriculture but in various sectors.
Read more on PGS in practice here: https://www.ifoam.bio/en/pgs-practice
Read more on the policy recommendations of IFOAM are here: https://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/files/policybrief_how_governments_can_support_pgs.pdf