To be able to put the word “Organic” on products each country has devised certain standards for organic farming, organic diary, organic livestock, organic processing and organic trading. Each country standards are different. However all the countries organic standards adhere to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) standards. For more on IFOAM standards please refer to the following URL : https://www.ifoam.bio/
The world over there are 2 different kinds of organic standards: 1) Third party certification 2) Participatory guarantee system (PGS).
Third party certification :
Third party certification relies on external auditors to inspect and assure that the quality of production adheres to the organic certification standards. Third party certification is a process driven certification.
Participatory guarantee systems (PGS) :
PGS are locally focussed quality assurance systems. They certify farmers/producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange (IFOAM definition, 2008). The key facets (not exhaustive) of PGS are : 1) it is an affordable alternative to third party certification 2) improving livelihoods 3) farmer inspecting farmer and sharing of traditional / best practices. PGS is not new, the oldest known PGS was formed in 1972.
We can all discuss till the cows come home about which is a better certification methodology. Honestly, we don’t see much difference between the certification standards, and the only big-ticket differentiator is that exports are allowed for Third party certification and if you plan to sell only domestically you can opt for PGS certification.
At TruTrade we put the farmers interests as paramount and provide the farmers with a free and unbiased opinion on which certification methodology. TruTrade’s farmers adhere to Third party certification, PGS, NPOP, NOP, EU standards.
TruTrade’s quality process follows a multi-pronged approach that:
- First groups the farmers into clusters, wherein each farmer undergoes a peer review by their fellow farmers.
- TruTrade’s Internal Control Inspectors visit each farmer 2-3 times in a year during critical stages of crop production and perform a holistic assessment of the farmer and assess the farmers’ compliance against NPOP, NOP, EU and PGS standards.
- Third party certification agencies perform an assessment of not just the farmers but also TruTrade’s internal processes and identify non-compliances.
- Perform a random pesticide residue analysis of the end product by a third party testing agencies against 300+ known chemicals and pesticides.
TruTrade charges ₹ 600 ($9 USD) per year for a small and marginal farmer and ₹ 1200 ($18.5 USD) per year for a farmer whose land holding is greater than 2 acres. I am sure you would agree this cost does not even cover / recover TruTrade’s costs, but we charge this amount from the farmers so that the farmers take the certification seriously.
Sounds confusing? Talk to us, TruTrade team has more than 100+ man years of expertise on organic certification, trust us you cannot get better unbiased advisors than us. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org for your certification needs.