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Letras Verdes, Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Socioambientales

On-line version ISSN 1390-6631


PINO ANDRADE, Mauricio. Participatory Guarantee Systems in Ecuador. Approaches to its development. Letras Verdes [online]. 2017, n.22, pp.120-145. ISSN 1390-6631.

This study examines Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) as an alternative to Third Party Certification (TPC). These schemes are characterized by its multi-stakeholder approach which relies on principles like participation, transparency and trust. This research, based on the logics of process-tracing and comparative analysis, analyzed the experiences with PGS of the peasant’s network Red Ecovida from Brazil, and Ecuador’s experience. This study supports the idea that TPC created a normative trajectory that resulted in this scheme embedding the regulations on organics. Consequently, other systems than TPC are excluded from official recognition. The idea of norm diffusion through localization is also backed up in the analysis (from Brazil to Ecuador). This especially due to that PGS are better suited to the social, economic and environmental conditions of small-scale farmers. In the Ecuadorian case, PGS are meant as congruence builders (among the legal, political and productive grounds of the country), rather than just mechanisms of control. The main aim of PGS is to scale up agroecology by enhancing production, markets and consumption.

Keywords : certification; food governance; organic products; participatory guarantee system..

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