The Call for Contributions for the PGS pre-conference at OWC 2020 is now open

30 Years of PGS Development: A Root and Branch Appraisal

In the days leading up to the Organic World Congress 2020, delegates will have the opportunity to engage in topic specific pre-conferences.

IFOAM - Organics International, Nature & Progrès and CIRAD are excited to announce this long-awaited international meeting on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), which will be held on the 21st of September 2020, in Rennes.

In 2004, IFOAM - Organics International organized, in cooperation with MAELA (Latin American Agroecology Movement), the first international workshop on alternative certification in Torres (Brazil), which brought together initiatives from various continents to discuss the common ground between the various approaches and needs behind alternative certification systems. An important outcome was the birth of 'Participatory Guarantee Systems' as a concept and the creation of an international Task Force on PGS. This Task Force became the permanent IFOAM PGS Committee.

15 years later, this pre-conference will create the opportunity for PGS practitioners and advocates from all over the world to gather once again and take stock of the current PGS development, set new strategies and targets, and define common goals to improve PGS worldwide. The conference will last one day and will be built around plenary sessions, thematic sessions and workshops, using participatory methodologies.

The main language of the conference will be English, however, we are trying to ensure simultaneous translation into French and Spanish during the pre-conference. We will keep you updated on this possibility.

Call for contributions to the PGS pre-conference now open!

If you would like to take part in this pre-conference as speaker, please submit your contribution for a presentation (max. 2 pages) via email by the 1st of March 2020 to pgs [at] using the template available here. The authors of the contributions selected will be invited to prepare a presentation of approximately 15 min., that will be followed by a 15 min. session of Questions & Answers.

You can also submit a proposal for a working group addressing a specific topic that the participants of the pre-conference will discuss during interactive sessions. These working groups will be organised in a World Café format and they will take place during the afternoon. We will organise various working groups in parallel, grouped by major themes. You can submit your proposal by email by the 1st of March 2020 to pgs [at] using the template available here.

The submission of a contribution implies that, if it is selected, its presenting author commits to registering for the OWC 2020 and being available to present. We strongly encourage all contributors to identify sources of funding in parallel to submitting their contribution.

About the selection process
The steering and program committee of this pre-conferece will select the contributions by mid-April 2020. If your contribution is shortlisted, you will be notified of the acceptance by email.
To participate in the pre-conference you need to register as a participant of the Organic World Congress. Please visit the website of the OWC 2020 to get up-to-date information regarding the registration process. The deadline for registration for the pre-conference is based on the OWC 2020 deadline, or until the maximum capacity is met. Registrations are on a first-come, first-served basis, so register as early as possible!


Download the call for contributions in French

Download the call for contributions in Spanish 

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