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The role of participatory Guarantee Systems for Food security

Home, Robert and Nelson, Erin (2015) The role of participatory Guarantee Systems for Food security. In: Hilbeck, Angelika and Oehen, Bernadette (Eds.) Feeding the People: Agroecology for Nourishing the World and Transforming the Agri-Food System. IFAOM EU Group, Brussels, Belgium, chapter 5, pp. 26-29.

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Document available online at: http://www.ifoam-eu.org/sites/default/files/ifoameu_policy_ffe_feedingthepeople.pdf


The primary tool for assuring quality of organic products and preventing fraud, and also for promoting commerce, is third party organic certification, which aims to regulate and facilitate the sale of organic products to consumers. Certification plays a role along the entire supply chain and is used by organic producers to identify products that are approved for use in certified production (Fabiansson, 2014), while also serving as product assurance for consumers (Sethuraman and Naidu, 2008). Although third party certification systems play an important role in organic production and trade, they are not always suitable for small-scale operators and local market channels. Third party certification can act as a barrier to entry for smallholder producers looking to access organic markets because of the high costs involved (Lundberg and Moberg, 2009), the paperwork and bureaucracy required (IFAD, 2003) and complex norms (Nelson, 2015). To address these challenges, some farmers have sought alternative certification systems that are better adapted to specific local contexts. One such alternative for conformity assessment is to use participatory guarantee systems (PGS), which rely on the participation of multiple stakeholders to guarantee the organic integrity of products.

EPrint Type:Report chapter
Keywords:Department of Socio-Economic Sciences, Innovation in Agriculture, Food Security
Subjects: Food systems > Community development
Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification
Research affiliation: Canada
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Socio-Economics
International Organizations > International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM > IFOAM EU Group
Deposited By: Home, Dr Robert
ID Code:30165
Deposited On:27 May 2016 09:26
Last Modified:27 May 2016 09:26
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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