OFAI offers its members two different procedures for organic certification and labelling scheme:
1. Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)
2. Third Party Appraisal (TPS)
Participatory Guarantee System
In the ‘participatory guarantee system’, local groups of farmers conduct the farm appraisals themselves and maintain a group watch to ensure that all follow the standards and the rules. OFAI is a founder member of the PGS Organic India Council. Find out all about PGS at: pgsorganic.in
PGS is simpler and cheaper and its operation is controlled by the organic farming community itself. In fact, PGS is recommended for organic farmers who work as a group or who can come together as a group at the village or taluka level. PGS is also designed mostly for small and marginal farmers and will be extremely useful in situations where such communities are serviced by NGOs or self help groups (SHGs). Those opting for the PGS system should inform either the state secretariat or the central secretariat accordingly.
Third Party Appraisal
In the ‘third-party appraisal’ system, trained and experienced organic farmers (who are members of the association) appraise farms as third party appraisers and submit their independent reports to the association. This kind of farm audit is suitable for individual farms, small or large, especially where there is little scope for group activity.
Those opting for TPS would be largely isolated farmers, or farmers living in remote areas and who are unable to form a local group under PGS because their numbers are too small. (For the PGS, minimum membership in the local group is five). Find out all about the detailed procedures of TPA from the booklet which is also available at the central secretariat office.
It is important to emphasize and to clarify that both TPS and PGS are based on OFAI organic farming guidelines which are themselves in harmony with IFOAM 2005 organic standards and the NSOP (Government of India). Find the OFAI organic farming guidelines in the Third Party Appraisal booklet.