Farm Endorsement Ecological Development (FEED) is a Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), which as defined by IFOAM, is a "locally focused quality assurance systems.
They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange."
They represent an alternative to third party certification and are especially adapted to local markets and short supply chains. They can also complement third party certification with a private label that brings additional guarantees and transparency.
PGS enable the direct participation of producers, consumers and other stakeholders in:
the choice and definition of the standards
the development and implementation of certification procedures
the certification decisions
The primary motivations for seeing the development of an PGS in our local region are;
To reward local farmers who are making exceptional efforts in their ecological practice,
To deter the prevalence of generic claims and improve the integrity of ‘spray free’ / ‘chem free’ labeling which ensures additional consumer confidence and transparency,
To provide an exceptionally affordable option for farmer recognition,
To provide an alternative to Organic Certification for those cases where it proves unviable/unaffordable/unnecessary
To create a local collective and improve communications between local ‘Ecologically’ minded farmers, for knowledge and resource sharing.