How do PGS Programs benefit consumers?
Looking beyond the needs of small-holder farmers, there is growing awareness and demand for safe, healthy quality assured Organic products even amongst poor consumers. The high cost and low penetration of third-party certified products makes access to organic products impossible for these consumers. PGS initiatives bring many new farmers into a system of committed organic production, greatly increasing the quantity of organic products available in the local markets. In addition, PGS places an emphasis on direct sales to consumers, which can often result in lower costs to those consumers even as the farmers are able to realize higher profits as compared to what they would get selling to wholesalers.
Other benefits mentioned by consumers involved in PGS programs include greater education about organic production techniques, stronger feeling of community, increased confidence in the organic quality of the products (because they are directly involved in the organic guarantee process and also get a chance to participate in the setting or revision of a production standard that may be higher than official regulations) and also a “good feeling” about supporting local farmers.