Australian Fair Food Forum

Small Producer Organic Certification program

There has been a number of producers, both currently certified, and non-certified that are interested in looking at options for ‘certification’ that enables them to communicate to their customers (directly), as well as be cost effective and legitimate.

I am opening this discussion - for anyone interested in contributing without prejudice to views of organic sector, but for producers to explore options that are relevant to their business.

Some of the issues include

  • cost of certification (when levies are added to current certification)
  • process of transfer from OGA to other program
  • PGS process/development
  • direct sales/risk to export market (as expressed by certifiers)
  • appropriate certifier/entity that is interested in small producer program

Please add to this, and contribute any ideas that you think would be valuable?

It would be great if you can introduce yourself to the broader community here, and comment below about your interest in this area

There are a couple of different potential approaches to this, that may be of more or less interest to different people, so I’ve created separate threads for those discussions. See also

ping @serenity @jademiles2

A very inspiring story out of China today - regarding PGS, and it’s appropriateness for local organic food producers. Could this be seen as a solution/transition to organic certification if there was a stream lined process of trust between growers and consumers/purchasers?

Hi @carolyn! I’m just now completing a project with the Australian Institute of Ecological Agriculture (formerly known as the Ecological Agriculture Australia Association) looking at developing an effective accreditation/endorsement scheme for farmers. The scheme will aim to identify farmers that not only practise ecologically/holistically, but also contribute positively to the fair food system.
I’m currently completing a report and literature review that’s so far uncovered some very interesting insights into PGS/3rd party cert schemes, and the organic landscape in Australia. Would love to share these once I’m done!

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That would be great @Ciann.

I have spoken to Kerry regarding many options, and would be fabulous to see PGS or a small producer program emerge.

Make sure you jump over to the threads here for both the links.

PGS Accreditation And the Small Producers program.

If you need any help let me know.

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A recent discussion on the issue of fraud in the organic sector - for small and large scale producers… to be aware of…

For now - best avenue is to report via ACCC website, or to send email to (Organic Federation of Australia - not a certifier, but peak organic body)

For Farmers Markets, encourage your markets to consider VFMA accreditation (or if other states seek their input of using this model).

For larger producers - record it. Take note. Don’t support producers that are not legitimate! Look for a certified organic logo, ask the producer if they follow the organic standards? So many aspects to this discussion.

Not sure if this is the right area for this type of discussion @kirsten ??

Hi @Ciann - how is your report going? There is much discussion about this at the present time!

Hi Ciann, I am an orchardist in NE Vic and with some other local growers we are looking at starting our own NE Vic PGS. We will be presenting the idea at our annual North East Fair Food gathering in March 2018 and I would love to be able to present some of the outcomes from your AIEA research (or even better maybe even have you present if you were keen and the timing worked?).

Like Carolyn keen to hear how your important work is progressing.

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Hey Charlie, how did you guys go? Be very interested to know more information, thanks Ange

Hi Angela, nothing concrete in NE Vic yet, probably best to ask @jademiles2 or @carolyn for the details as i’ve not been across developments for a while now.