Organic Agriculture is often perceived as referring only to certified Organic Agriculture. But Organic Agriculture goes far beyond certification.
Recognizing the wide range of systems based on the Principles of Organic Agriculture, IFOAM - Organics International embraces Organic Agriculture in its full diversity.
Third party certification, including group certification, is the most widely recognized form of guarantee system and is a reliable and often necessary tool for international trade.
However, many organic farmers are verified through other means, such as participatory guarantee systems (PGS).
The closer a consumer is to an organic producer, the less need there is for external verification. Many organic farmers' markets, for example, operate without guarentee systems at all. Still other organic farmers produce for their own consumption only.
All of these organic famers are providing environmental and other services to society. IFOAM - Organics International encourages a diversity of guarantee systems, for each farmer to adopt as he or she sees fit.