The PGS system was created by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) to support and develop emerging and micro producers who are committed to producing organic foods, but find the cost of certification by an independent third party certifier beyond the means of their operation.
Participatory Guarantee Systems, just like third-party certification systems, aim to provide a credible guarantee for consumers seeking organic produce. The difference is in approach: the assessment includes participation of farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the verification process, a sharing of skills and knowledge and ultimately on going community monitoring.
Such involvement is realistic and achievable given that PGS is likely to serve small farms and local direct markets. Costs of participation are low and mostly take the form of voluntary time involvement rather than financial expenses.
The Bryanston Organic & Natural market has an established PGS network ensuring that the integrity and quality of the food supplied in the market is maintained in accordance with PGS standards.