PGS Case Studies From West and Central Africa

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) represent alternative and complementary tools to third-party certification. Smallholder farmers often prefer using PGS to certify their products because they’re accessible and best suited to their local realities.

IFOAM - Organics International is the only organisation collecting, compiling, and publishing global data on PGS, as part of its support of these important mechanisms that verify compliance with organic standards. 

In 2022, we’re proud to publish the first set of PGS case studies focusing on Central and West Africa!

This follows our first publication released in 2005, which presented four different PGS initiatives from various parts of the world. Two other sets of PGS case studies followed in 2013, focusing on East Africa and Latin America.

This new compilation of PGS case studies gathers experiences from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It was gathered in collaboration with the National Organic Agriculture movements and other stakeholders from these countries between 2020 and 2022, documenting PGS initiatives and providing insights into the similarities and the variety of PGS implementation in Central and West Africa.

Co-authored by practitioners actively engaged in PGS implementation, this set of PGS case studies addresses questions such as:

  • how do these PGS initiatives operate and address compliance?
  • how is governance implemented?
  • what are their main marketing channels and strategies?
  • what challenges do they face?

Lessons learned and recommendations are included in every chapter.

The publication is a valuable addition to our PGS Toolkit and complements our previous publications, which are all available online to anyone interested in supporting organic agriculture and truly sustainable food systems.