Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, an organisation promoting organic farming and fair trade practices, has flayed the Centre’s decision to constitute a single agency under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to certify organic produce.

The alliance said the decision would take away the rights of farmers who had been doing the certification under the Participatory Guarantee System Organic Council (PGSOC).

Leaders of the alliance said such a single agency would alienate small-scale farmers from their field, and that it was necessary to continue the traditional mode of certification by a not-for-profit organisation.

They also pointed out that the de-legitimisation of PGSOC would be like a surgical strike on farmers, and that it would hamper a flagship project of the country where people-centric regulatory structure of the organic food regime was followed. The elimination of the old system will, in fact, alienate the real proponents of the organic farming practice and its fair trade, they claimed.

In a statement on Thursday, Saji P. Jose, PGSOC coordinator of the alliance, said a request to reconsider the move had been sent to the consideration of the Prime Minister. He added that the cause was supported by 20 other like-minded organic farmers’ movements in the country.

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