The majority of agriculture practitioners worldwide are smallholders. Adoption of organic agriculture, a sustainable environmental friendly management system, is vitally linked to market access. It is imperative that small operators are not marginalized and unduly excluded from the organic sector due to factors beyond their control. Standards must allow for local equivalence and certification systems must be innovative and cost efficient enough to address smallholders' situation worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
In this position paper originally presented to the European Union as a submission IFOAM clarifies its position on group certification for smallholders in developing countries. It is pointed out that models of group certification may be relevant and applicable, and the need for dialogue on these issues.