• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Proposed peer to peer alternative to govt certification  RSS feed

 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 390
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
3
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Instead of having the govt come round and decide if you can call your stuff organic, I propose an invitation-only network of producers who perform peer to peer inspections.

Open to ideas but a basis might be....
You only get in if an existing member knows you.
An existing member inspects your operations annually (not the same member in consecutive years and not the member who introduced you).
There is no fee for inspections but every member performs 1 inspection per year in return for their 1 free inspection. Maybe extend this to a requirement to do a days work for another 1 or 2 members per year to spread the knowledge and maintain minimum standards.

Criteria are common sense permaculture based, might be less strict than "organic" in certain areas and more strict in others.
maybe...
- no pesticides
- animals live and die with respect
- diversity as opposed to monocropping
- efficient use of water
- responsible stewardship of the soil and terrain

There is an element of trust vs strict govt style inspections. Keep it simple is a good idea.
Some workable way of bending the membership rules initially to get a critical mass started.
Informal with no legal standing. consumers get interested when word gets round that there's a group of producers who don't spray chemicals or abuse their animals and who keep each other in check.

By the way, I don't want to run this and I'm not about to start pushing for something to be setup, and I don't want anyone else to say "I'll set it up" then try to make money out of it. If there are 1000 members, I'm happy to do 1/1000th of the overhead work. The purpose of this post is to put an idea out there, and see if it can be improved on to the point it might actually work and be beneficial.

Hit Reply and tell me what you think
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
Posts: 2579
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
501
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The alternate to "Organic" already exists. For example, "Certified Naturally Grown".

There are lots of organizations willing to certify humane treatment of animals. For example: "Certified Humane Certification Program", "Animal Welfare Approved", "American Humane Association", etc...

Want a permaculture certification? I suppose that you'd have to come up with a definition of what permaculture is so that you could measure whether a farm conforms...
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 390
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
3
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:The alternate to "Organic" already exists. For example, "Certified Naturally Grown".

There are lots of organizations willing to certify humane treatment of animals. For example: "Certified Humane Certification Program", "Animal Welfare Approved", "American Humane Association", etc...

Want a permaculture certification? I suppose that you'd have to come up with a definition of what permaculture is so that you could measure whether a farm conforms...


Lots of organisations exist but I think they are generally run by a central committee who charge their members for a cert. I'm suggesting peer 2 peer. All the members have a say and a part, and there isn't a flow of money from the certificated to the certificators.
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
111
bee books chicken duck goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
jack spirko's been trying to get a transparency model of agricultural practices going for a while at Agritrue. Not quit the same, but I like his feature of having consumers rate the producers as well as peer-to-peer.
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 390
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
3
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes a way of getting the customer involved would be good too
 
Rose Pinder
Posts: 410
Location: Otago, New Zealand
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is a similar scheme operating in New Zealand. It was set up so that small growers could afford to be certified without the huge costs associated with the mainstream certifications. They use a pod system, so the review is done within a group (usually geographical I think).


OrganicFarmNZ is probably best known for its “pod” system. The Pod system works on a ‘peer review’ process. This is where a group of between 3-5 growers (a pod) will peer review one another. In short – they check you out and you check them out. The Pod Peer Review involves a review of the Producer’s Property Management Plan, a check of their inputs and outputs and a property inspection (involving all members of the Pod). This occurs to every member of the Pod, annually.

Alternatively – Producers have the ability to be audited individually by an independent Audit.


Here's their page

http://www.organicfarm.org.nz/ofnz-farmers
 
Rose Pinder
Posts: 410
Location: Otago, New Zealand
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think there will always be a need for a certification fee. Soil tests, paying for administration etc all cost. But the idea is to keep the fee low enough that any grower can afford it.

There's also the issue of how you get your certification recognised and trusted by wholesalers, retailers and consumers. OFNZ appear to be using IFOAM's scheme, which is internationally recognised.

http://www.ifoam.bio/en/value-chain/participatory-guarantee-systems-pgs
 
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more ... richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!