About Us

Established in 2011 as a non-profit voluntary association, Participatory Guarantee Systems South Africa (PGS SA) is the body representing PGS in South Africa. It is dedicated to supporting the establishment of PGS’s in the region to help facilitate local market access for organic and agroecological farmers.

PGS SA helps smallholder farmer groups to harness the economic, environmental and social potential of organic farming. The end result of this process is the development of a sustainable market access system, based on transparent, producer-focused systems where consumers are assured of the integrity of organic products.

PGS drives food sovereignty through localised, farmer-driven food systems based around a community of practice.

PGS SA achieves this in the following ways:

Training of smallholder farmers using organic and agroecology principles

Promoting transparent, horizontal, producer-focused PGS’s
Developing sustainable short value chains
Creating knowledge resources for smallholder farmers’ adoption of PGS

PGS Guiding Elements

A member of IFOAM Organics International, PGS SA is guided by six elements

Shared Vision

Trust

Horizontality

Transparency

Participatory

Learning Process

Learn More

Our Steering Committee

Matthew Purkis

Matthew Purkis

Chairperson

Matthew is an entrepreneur, ecological designer, practitioner, and organic food systems advocate.

Butshabelo Mabunda

Butshabelo Mabunda

Vice-Chairperson

Butshabelo is passionate about agroecological practices that feed the nation with nutritious and healthy food.

Raymond Auerbach

Raymond Auerbach

Treasurer

Raymond has been farming organically in KwaZulu-Natal for 40 years .

Sasha Mentz

Sasha Mentz

Secretary

Sasha is a small-scale organic farmer and advocacy researcher, she is project manager for PGS SA and a PGS practitioner herself.

Provincial PGS SA Representatives

Tanya Spangenberg Gauteng  brypgs@gmail.com
Butshabelo Agnes Mabunda Limpopo mabundabutshabelo@gmail.com
Sylvester Nzimande Mpumalanga  sylvesternzimande4@gmail.com
Busisiwe Mgangxela Eastern Cape busisiwemgangxela@gmail.com

Mveli Cyril

CC Sicelo

Kwazulu- Natal

m.c.mkhungoh@gmail.com

CC: scelo@snns.co.za

Sophia Grodes

CC: Sheryl Ozinsky

CC: Audrey Wainright

Western Cape

grodessophia32@gmail.com

sheryl@ozinsky.co.za

CC: audwok@gmail.com audwok@gmail.com

Freddy  Piroe

 

North West Province piroemy1@gmail.com
Michelle Rorich Northern Cape

michellerorich1@gmail.com

NA Free State  

What better way for organics to function than for it to be driven by its members.

Charmaine Koppehel

Charmaine Koppehel

Communication & Marketing

The development and execution of communication and marketing strategies across all available platforms with the aim of growing consumer awareness and support of organic farmers and their produce.

  charmaine@saoso.org

Sheryl Ozinsky

Sheryl Ozinsky

Market Development for PGS

Create opportunities for PGS producers to link directly to local customers and earn fair prices for the fruits of their labour by selling direct.

  sheryl@ozinsky.co.za

Brett Sander

Brett Sander

Organic Value Chain Development

Developing the organic value chain with vertical integration, scope for regional hubs and enhance public-private collaboration. Raise awareness of PGS among governments, local authorities, development partners, SME’s and local NGO’s to encourage them to invest in PGS. The establishment of the organic trade desk is the outcome of this working group.

  sanderb28@gmail.com

Fola Yusuf

EOA Farmer Support & Advisory

Providing technical support to farmers from best practice organic methodology, organic growing innovations and traditional knowledge to land design, production, market access, training and monitoring the impact in the field of PGS and standards. Strengthen capacities of stakeholder farmers to ensure the flow of information and use of new technologies, and organic best practice.

  fyusuf@ufh.ac.za

Audrey Wainwright

Audrey Wainwright

Certification

Supporting PGS groups and their farmer members by creating PGS friendly policies and enabling frameworks ensuring alignment to the SAOSO Standard for Organic Production and Processing and context specific for PGS groups.

  audwok@gmail.com

Matthew Purkis

Matthew Purkis

EOA Technology

The group focuses on the roll-out of the technology suite that is in development for the mapping and data collection process to inform the farmer support and market development working groups. The aggregated data will assist in future fundraising and program development to connect provincial supply chains. The technology is a central component to the role out of Organic 3.0 and digital value chains.

  matt@pgssa.org.za

Edmore Parichi

Edmore Parichi

Seed

Create a PGS seed bank for accredited PGS farmers to draw from. Special focus on indigenous seed; document seed catching mechanisms; treatments to improve seed and seedling health. This group is focused on developing the provincial networks with the main goal to establish seed banks within PGS groups and wider agricultural networks. Seed sovereignty is the main objective of this working group.

  eparichi@gmail.com

Busisiwe Mgangxela

Busisiwe Mgangxela

EOA Farmer Support & Advisory

Providing technical support to farmers from best practice organic methodology, organic growing innovations and traditional knowledge to land design, production, market access, training and monitoring the impact in the field of PGS and standards. Strengthen capacities of stakeholder farmers to ensure the flow of information and use of new technologies, and organic best practice.

  busisiwemgangxela@gmail.com

 Daniel Moody

Daniel Moody

EOA Technology

The group focuses on the roll-out of the technology suite that is in development for the mapping and data collection process to inform the farmer support and market development working groups. The aggregated data will assist in future fundraising and program development to connect provincial supply chains. The technology is a central component to the role out of Organic 3.0 and digital value chains.

  daniel@saoso.org

Rosah Ramaipadi

Seed

Create a PGS seed bank for accredited PGS farmers to draw from. Special focus on indigenous seed; document seed catching mechanisms; treatments to improve seed and seedling health. This group is focused on developing the provincial networks with the main goal to establish seed banks within PGS groups and wider agricultural networks. Seed sovereignty is the main objective of this working group.

  ramaipadir@gmail.com

Raymond Auerbach

Raymond Auerbach

Policy Research

Jama Mashele

Jama Mashele

Research & Education

This group will be focused on furthering the research agenda for the organic sector. Working closely with universities and other institutions such as ARC to bring organic into the mainstream.

  jama.mashele@mandela.ac.za

Justice Lubobo

Justice Lubobo

Fundraising

This group will focus on fundraising activities for the future of PGS SA and SAOSO. It will be working closely with steering committee members and all the WGs (and their specific fundraising requirements) to develop funding proposals and screening potential funders and linking the proposal to potential funding mechanisms.

  justiceforall2909@gmail.com

Matt Purkis

Matt Purkis

Governance

Matters of governance for both PGSSA and SAOSO to ensure that their constitutions correctly serve the organisations.

  matt@pgssa.org.za

Alan Rosenberg

Governance

Matters of governance for both PGSSA and SAOSO to ensure that their constitutions correctly serve the organisations.

  alan@saoso.org

Our Partners

IFOAM

The Sustainability Institute

SAOSO

KHSA

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  • Matthew is an entrepreneur, ecological designer, practitioner, and organic food systems advocate. He is on the SAOSO Steering Committee, Chairman of PGS SA and is an IFOAM Ambassador, working broadly in the sector as a solutions architect and designer. Matt is currently working as program manager for Care for the Planet at Geodegdacht farm in the Western Cape. He is also a permaculture consultant with Eco Synergy Designs Design Co-Operative.

    Matt is passionate about youth development, sustainable human settlements, and working towards a sovereign, ethical and fair food system.

  • Butshabelo is a smallholder farmer in Limpopo and is a graduate of the 17 Shaft Training Centre in Agroecology and Leadership Course, and an alumni of the IFOAM Organic Leadership Course and IFOAM’s Training of Teams of Trainers (TOTOT) program.

    Butshabelo is passionate about agroecological practices that feed the nation with nutritious and healthy food. Her mantra is: “Let us save our Mother Earth for the Seventh Generation.”

  • Raymond is currently a professor at the University of the Western Cape, board member for the Agricultural Research Council and SAOSO, and PGS SA treasurer, of which he is also a founder member.

    Raymond has been farming organically in KwaZulu-Natal for 40 years and has had an active background in soils, trees, farmer training and agricultural research techniques. Post-1994, he worked with government on strategies for transformation and land policies, while finishing his MSc on sustainable farming systems. His doctorate focused on integrated catchment management.

    For the past decade, he has been teaching soil science and plant production at Nelson Mandela University where he has started a long-term research trial comparing organic and conventional farming systems. He works with students across Africa, collaborates globally with researchers and is focused on climate resilient agriculture.

  • Sasha holds a Master of Philosophy in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and a Master in Geopolitics and Political Science from the Sorbonne University (Paris, France). Currently a small-scale organic farmer and advocacy researcher, she is project manager for PGS SA and a PGS practitioner herself, as she coordinates the Outeniqua PGS group in the Western Cape.

    Previously Sasha worked for the United Nations as a climate change consultant and has been involved in extensive research on global agricultural trends and how these affect Africa’s farmers. Her ongoing advocacy research for pan African organisations focuses on resisting the agrochemical and biotechnology push onto the continent. She is also part of the #Unpoison initiative that seeks to address the issue of agro-chemical capture in South Africa.

  • PGS SA promotes and supports the principles of organic agriculture as defined by the worldwide umbrella organisation for the organic agriculture movement, the International Federation ofOrganic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). IFOAM supports the development of PGS within the region and advocates for the recognition of PGS by governments.

  • SAOSO in partnership with PGS SA has signed an agreement with The Sustainability Institute as the South African node of the KHSA to deliver activities on the ground that align with the aims and objectives of the Knowledge Hubs. We are hopeful that this project will extend through to 2025.

  • The South African Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) is a non-profit organisation focused on uniting and growing the organic agriculture sector in South Africa. Their work unites farmers, producers, retailers and consumers of organic products to collectively protect the future food freedom and natural ecology of South Africa, and their strategy is aligned with PGS SA.

  • PGS SA and SAOSO form the South African node of the Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture in Southern Africa (KHSA). KHSA is part of the Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa (KCOA) project, which is a collaborative country-led partnership funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and non-governmental organisations. The South African-based Sustainability Institute supports project implementation in the region.

    KCOA aims to scale up adoption of organic farming practices in Africa over a four-year period. In Southern Africa, KHSA focuses project activities in Zambia, led by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Zambia; in Namibia, led by the Namibia Nature Foundation in collaboration with the Namibian Organic Association; and in South Africa, led by SAOSO. GIZ is also implementing this project in north, east, west and central Africa.