On 30 July, Vietnam National University of Agriculture and Rikolto organised the workshop “10 years of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) in Vietnam: Sharing lessons and introducing a new PGS training toolbox”. The event concluded a one-year project funded by the Agroecology Learning Alliance in Southeast Asia to capitalise PGS experiences in Vietnam for upscaling and institutionalisation.
Vietnam’s agri-food systems are undergoing a rapid and deep transformation. While consumers have increasingly demanding needs regarding the quality, traceability and safety of their food, the supply of safe agricultural products is still largely unstable and expensive. A reliable and trustworthy quality assurance mechanism is a key condition to provide consumers with the confidence that quality standards are met. However, they are not always suitable for small-scale operators and local market channels because of the high costs involved, the paperwork required and the complexity of their requirements. To address these challenges, farmers, NGOs, and their partners have sought alternative certification systems that are better adapted to farmers’ local contexts. In 2008, the Danish NGO ADDA was the first organisation to introduce Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) to certify organic vegetables in Vietnam. Ten years later, PGS is implemented in 6 provinces and 9 districts, and involves 725 farmers.