Organic Group Certification: scale, opportunities and challenges

About 80% of the world’s organic producers are smallholders in low- and middle-income countries, for whom individual certification would be unaffordable and administratively too complex to manage. These producers are recognised as organic due to group certification, a system in which groups of farmers implement an Internal Control System (ICS) and are certified by a certification body, which evaluates the ICS and inspects a representative number of group members.

In the past 20 years, the pioneering approach of using ICS-based group certification has been adopted by the entire organic sector, including the EU and the US National Organic Programme. Very similar approaches are used and have been further developed by other voluntary sustainability certification programmes such as UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and GLOBALG.A.P.

More information on TOS issue 181/2019; Please write us if you want to purchase this The Organic Standard issue.