Australian Fair Food Forum

Certification, beyond organic and peer-guaranteed systems (PGS)

For those of you weren’t able to get to the Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering 2017, we recorded the summary report of the ‘Certification, beyond organic and peer-guaranteed systems PGS’ session led by Justin Russel.

Summary below. This also provides a place to continue the discussion.

Peer-guaranteed systems were discussed as a peer to peer system, where peers could review each other’s practices and provide a guarantee at the end for the customer. PGSs were described as endorsements, rather than checklists, and emphasised the need for collaboration rather than competition.

For farmers with short supply chains, who were selling directly to customers, this system seemed to make a lot of sense. However, for those with larger supply chains focusing more on exports, organic certification was seen to probably be a better choice.

Discussion around beyond organic looked at the ideas of holistic management and the triple bottom line, as well as biodynamics.

A practical take away from the discussion surrounded the need to set aside resources for a paid administrator in PGSs systems, given the tendency for burn out and for projects to lose steam if not properly resourced.

Joel from @Futurefeeders has made all their PGS documentation available to others to model / use via http://www.futurefeeders.org/feed.html

If anyone has other examples / templates it would be wonderful to share here. What’s worked for you?

Related to previous discussion on this forum here (including a list of known PGS schemes in Aus) and here.

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A lot of work in US is looking at know your farmer first, certification second. relationship between producer and consumer transcends certification

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