Never heard of PGS? Not sure you can trust it? VECO has recently produced a video to explain to consumers how the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) works and why it can be trusted as a reliable standard for safe and organic vegetables.
For years, the Vietnamese government has implemented and promoted VietGAP as the official certification system. However, according to IFAD, about 10 million farms in Vietnam have a size smaller than 2 hectares. The complex and costly process required to become VietGAP certified makes it almost impossible for smallholder farmers to receive the precious VietGAP seal. This is in part due to the costly audit that must be performed by an external certification company which cannot be afforded by most farmers. This means that, even if their produce is safe or organic, they cannot sell it as such as they are not certified.
VECO Vietnam proposes an alternative system: the Participatory Guarantee System. PGS is a quality assurance system that is feasible for smallholder farmers. It does not involve costly external certification and the paperwork requirements are easier to manage. In order to ensure the safe and organic quality of the produce, a group of different stakeholders comes together on a regular basis to inspect a farmer’s production, processing, packaging and selling processes. The stakeholders include government officials, retailers, consumers and other farmers. If the farmer complies with the standards for safe or organic vegetable production, the produce is certified safe or organic and can be sold as such in shops.
VECO Vietnam has produced a video that provides more information on how PGS works and how it is being applied in Trac Van Commune, Duy Tien District, in Ha Nam Province, one of VECO Vietnam’s project locations. Have a look at the video below!