Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

PGS Foundational Documents

PGS Marketing Pack

FAQ

We answer all your PGS questions, showcase our foundational documents, and provide a marketing pack for PGS groups.

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What is PGS?

Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. It combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment, promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all.

Why do we need PGS?

Agroecology is an integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of food and agricultural systems. It seeks to optimise the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while taking into consideration the social aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable and fair food system. Agroecology is science, a practice and a social movement.

How do I get involved?

Regenerative Agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting bio-sequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. It utilises a variety of sustainable agriculture techniques in combination.

What is the role of retailers and consumers within PGS?

The establishment of a diverse and balanced farming system with a natural ability to regulate itself usually takes several years and involves mistakes and learning. Diversifying the farming system is a cornerstone to conversion and would include recycling valuable farm by-products. Farm animals are introduced into the system for both products and manures. Conversion will include the growing of cover crops and green manures. The SAOSO standards are used as a motivator and guide to production principles.

What PGS groups exist in South Africa already?
How can I start a PGS in my area?
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How can I start a PGS in my area?

Conservation agriculture is a farming system that can prevent losses of arable land while regenerating degraded lands. It promotes maintenance of a permanent soil cover, minimum soil disturbance, and diversification of plant species.

What are the indirect costs associated with PGS and what involvement is expected of farmers?

Please refer to the Section C – appendices of the SAOSO standard which details the criteria for the evaluation of inputs, additives and processing aids for organic production and processing.

What standard does a local PGS follow?
What inputs are allowed in a PGS group?

Organic farmers and producers may not use ingredients, additives or processing aids derived from GMO’s. According to the SAOSO standard, inputs, processing aids and ingredients shall be traced back one step in the biological chain to the direct source organism from which they are produced to verify that they are not derived from GMOs.

How does PGS differ from third party certification?

PGS Foundational Documents

Introduction to Participatory Guarantee Systems in SA

Step-by-step guide on how to establish a PGS

Basic Production Principles

PGS Marketing Pack

How PGS works infographic

Elements and features of a PGS infographic

Photo and video guidelines

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