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Group Certification: Market Access for Smallholder Agriculture

  • Mildred Steidle
  • Gerald A. HerrmannEmail author
Chapter
  • 78 Downloads
Part of the Natural Resource Management in Transition book series (NRMT, volume 2)

Abstract

The group certification concept is well established and consistently implemented under various certification schemes, such as organic. There is a common understanding of scope, principles and common criteria for group certification. Implementing an Internal Control System (ICS) is the centrepiece of group certification, allowing the certifier to delegate the monitoring of standard compliance of single group members to the ICS of the group; whereas the certifier evaluates proper functioning of the ICS when conducting the annual on-site inspection of the group. Finally, and based on a well-functioning ICS, the certifier issues a certificate authorising a group’s products to be labelled in line with applicable (organic) standards. Centralised marketing is compulsory, the certificate is issued to the entire group, single group members may not use the certificate. Group certification is opening the door for small scale farmers to access specialised markets such as regulated by sustainability or other quality standards. Targeted training programmes for groups’ representatives are needed to support implementation of group certification. In addition, and to create robust ICS systems, groups need appropriate software tools to ensure that all necessary ICS procedures throughout the workflow are applied consistently and documented in a verifiable manner. These tools must be affordable for grower groups, designed for global use, and suitable to administer certification according to various standards.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Organic Services GmbHTutzingGermany

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