Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)

The world is turning healthy. Yes, you heard that right. Isn’t that so good to hear? Eating healthy, going green, turning brown- all these phrases ring a bell in our heads. Can you imagine your skin glowing, no pimples, and hair soft and healthy? Wheeep, sounds awesome, right? THEN BUY ORGANIC!!!!!!

There is more than one reason why the organic movement is gaining its importance in the modern era. The first and foremost reason could be the letdown created by the conventional agriculture – undiscerning usage of chemicals causing air, water and soil pollution, health menaces, increase in pest and disease incidence, loss of crop diversity, untenable productivity and so on. On the other hand, lure towards organic foods started slowly by the health conscious urban community, which is visible among other section of our society. In addition, more number of farmers is showing inclination towards organic farming owing to remarkable efforts being taken up by both government and non-government organizations. All these happenings during the recent years helped in opening new walks for organic foods in the domestic as well as in international markets. General opinion among the consumers is that organic foods are nutritious, tasty, long shelf life and safe. In order to protect the demand and interests of the consumers the process of certification has become inescapable for organic consumer goods including organic foods, cosmetics, medicines, fabrics, etc. Already such initiatives are operating and there are different mechanisms, systems and agencies for certification of organic goods. PGS is one of these systems being initiated in different parts of the world, especially for small organic farmers who can produce organic foods for domestic market. In India PGS is being initiated by different organizations through OFAI and during 2011 PGS has seen launched by the Government of India, heralding its official recognition.

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Organic Certification

Just yesterday my dad was saying “so the dal (pulses) you ate yesterday was organic”. I got really excited and I asked “Really? Show!!!!” And then when I read the packet there were no certifications. It said organic, but it wasn’t really organic and this is just one instance out of the many instances that keeps happening all over the world.

So how to identify if a product is organic or sold only in the pretext of it being organic. I thought, it will be great if I can share how to identify between actual organic product and “so-called” organic products.

Organic Certification

It is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping that include: