We are a worldwide community of commercial growers using organic techniques free from deliberate animal inputs demonstrating cruelty-free, plant-based agriculture. “Certified Stockfree” standard can be offered anywhere in the world and we have some translations of the word documents. The scheme operates outside “organic labelling” and gains its integrity from growers inspecting one another.
The practical problem is getting growers close enough for mutual inspection. There are practical ways around this, for example, some of the grower inspectors may be amateur growers which is fine as long as they are knowledgeable about growing systems.
The key things the grower inspector will be looking for is forms of plant-based fertility building e.g. green manuring (clover), compost heaps, bought in products; seed packets, rotations, what barriers are used to exclude competing animals, how weeds are controlled. The idea behind the inspections is mutual support and a chance to share growing tips and best practice.
If you are a commercial grower please visit the facebook page to get a feel for the scheme and fill in the forms. If you are already organically certified please email your “organic information schedule” instead of the IFOAM Norms.
WORD DOCUMENTS Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The administrator (Jenny Hall) will check forms and ask for clarification if necessary. She is a commercial grower herself. She will then convert them to jpegs to appear on the facebook page. An album will be created of your stockfree farm where you can upload photos and keep an interested international community up-to-date with your growing season, points of sale and open days.
The scheme is currently free as we are running it as a pilot. The idea is that it is to keep the administrative burden low.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Stockfree grower-to-grower certification is a partnership project between Climate Friendly Food CIC and the Vegan Organic Network. Climate Friendly Food is a not-for-profit social enterprise registered as a Community Interest Company (no. 6815026) in the UK and is the independent administrator of the scheme. The Participatory Certification scheme is created under a Creative Commons licence in the hope that others will build on it.
- Legal Position of Participatory Certification Scheme
The Participatory Certification Scheme is an informal quality assurance scheme using grower-to-grower inspection and does not fall within the remit of EU Regulation 2092/91 or other international organic regulations with regards organic labelling.
You can only label produce in accordance with the Stockfree grower-to-grower inspection if:
- You practice agroecological methods i.e. you do not use synthetic fertilisers, agrochemical pesticides/fungicides or herbicides.
- You are willing to undergo an annual grower-to-grower inspection process in the growing season from March to October (or as appropriate).
- Where practical, you will inspect a fellow Award Holder up to an hour away and bear the cost of travel.
- It is a trading standards offence to misrepresent practices.
Award use and certificates
If your grower-to-grower inspector disagrees, to a large degree, with your forms then this will automatically trigger a second visit by a member of the Independent Monitoring Committee. You will be required to pay the travel expenses if the IMC inspector considers that the holding does not meet the required certification standards. Advice will be given and another inspection arranged.
Participatory certification relies on goodwill and it is this that makes it affordable and transparent. As your grower-to-grower inspector is most likely to be a grower themselves they will note a failure to meet standards.
It is normal practice for an award holder to inspect a holding within their geographical area unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- Annual renewal
All the above terms and conditions are subject to the annual renewal of membership to the Participatory Certification Scheme. The scheme is currently in a pilot stage and free of charge.