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PGS Guidelines - How Participatory Guarantee Systems Can Develop and Function

PGSs have developed independently in different countries and cultural contexts in response to various challenges that are being faced by organic producers. Even though these PGS developed independently for different reasons and may be diverse in the ways they operate their organic guarantee processes they also have a number of common features. The commonalities include standards and norms, pledges, documented management systems and procedures, mechanisms to verify producer compliance, seals and labels, and defined consequences for non-compliance.

Because there are many different approaches to development and application of these common features it is not possible (nor the intention of these Guidelines) to prescribe a single approach. This document aims to describe how PGSs have been developed and applied in different situations around the world, specifically drawing from the PGS models developed and documented in Brazil (Ecovida Agroecology Network), USA (Certified Naturally Grown), India (Keystone Foundation) and New Zealand (Organic Farm New Zealand).

These guidelines are a cornerstone tool for all those involved or interested in setting-up and improving Participatory Guarantee Systems around the world.

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