Smallholder Farmer Certification

Many smallholder farmers in developing regions are unable to finance an individual producer certification which means they have no access to quality markets. The worldwide growth in organic agriculture and the progressive regulation of production by private organic standards and statutory organic regulations demands an alternative approach to certification, in particular for smallholder farmers and for countries in which organic farming is only just beginning to develop.
The Bio-Foundation, respectively IMO, was one of the first certifiers to develop an adapted control system for smallholder farmer groups; based on this, the farmers can be certified as a group with their own specific Internal Control System (ICS). Documents and a guidance manual as well as training courses for the certification of smallholder farmer groups were created for the IFOAM. Training measures show the producers how to improve the production conditions so that they meet the requirements of leading environmental and social standards and can thus be certified according to their guidelines.
The support of the certification makes it easier for the smallholder farmer cooperatives to access new markets. In this way the living conditions of the farmers can be improved on a sustainable basis.
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