Forest Garden Products (FGP)


The restoration of sustainable productive ecosystems is a pressing need in today’s world.
Analog Forestry (AF) is an ecological restoration system focused on increasing native biodiversity through the use of organic agriculture, crop diversification and the maturing of ecosystems to create Analog Forests or Forest Gardens.
The products derived from Analog Forestry (AF), that is, generated in forest gardens, offer the opportunity to obtain an added value through their commercialization. Since they have been developed through the practice of sustainable agriculture, they contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and create environmental stability.
As a result, the certification Standard for Forest Garden Products, known as FGP, was created.

Forest Garden Products Certification System (FGP)

The Forest Garden Products (FGP) certification system was developed by the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN) in response to the demand for a certification system that conforms to the philosophy and principles of Analog Forestry, as well as to the need for achieving economic self-sufficiency of Analog Forests and Social Justice. This allows producers to maintain Analog Forestry programs autonomously, through adding value to their products according to these principles.

The IAFN is a network of organizations involved in ecological restoration. These organizations include environmental NGOs as well as producers, traders and retailers of products derived from forest gardens. The IAFN is the body in charge of establishing and maintaining the FGP Standards.

The FGP Standards aim to verify that production systems contribute to the increase of biodiversity and the sustainability of the landscape. In other words, they seek not only organic production, but also the creation of permanent ecosystems, which guarantee clean products (i.e. free of chemicals and additives); products with high nutritional value developed using sustainable agroforestry practices.

FGP certification is a credible, independent and traceable system that guarantees that the products from Analog Forests or Forest Gardens are produced in accordance with the FGP Standards, creating ecosystems that provide environmental stability and resilience against climate change, for which farmers receive fair social and economic benefits. FGPs were recognized in 2014 by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and rank high as the only global standard to include Environmental, Social and Economic requirements in one system.

Biodiversity

FGP is a label specialized in environmental issues. Organic practices are mandatory as requirements for the certification of these products. However, the FGP Standards go beyond organic agriculture, as they analyze variables such as the structure and function of an ecosystem, as well as the relationship of biomass and biodiversity in them.

The recovery and protection of Biodiversity is highly valued within the FGP Standards, and its status in a given ecosystem is evaluated through the use of indicators for the presence of flora and fauna, as well as indicators for the health of active soils.

Ecosystem Services

FGPs include the voluntary carbon sequestration standard to establish the basic terrestrial carbon load and monitor the increase in carbon sequestered annually in a farm or Forest Garden, which allows evaluating and certifying this ecosystem service.

Forest Gardens or Analog Forests provide ecological functions and have the potential to offer ecosystem services such as: oxygen production (Photosynthetic Biomass), conservation and cleaning of water, creation of fertile soils, among others.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a business association, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better conditions for exchange and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers, especially in the South.

Fair Trade Organizations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the main axis of their mission. Backed by consumers, they actively participate in supporting producers, raising awareness and in campaigns to change the rules and practices of conventional international trade. The World Fair Trade Organization (www.wfto.com ) summarizes its principles as follows:

The Fair-Trade Criteria guarantee fairer terms of trade between farmers and FGP buyers, protect workers’ rights and provide the framework for producers to strengthen their Forest Gardens and develop thriving organizations. In this sense, the organization must be configured in a transparent way for its members and must not discriminate against any member or social group in particular.

On the social front, FGPs ensure equity in production, better access to markets, fair prices and added value for farmers in recognition of their efforts in the production of forest gardens. However, it is essential to ensure that the guidelines are continuously monitored and updated so that they meet the demands of the global fair-trade movement.

At an economic level, a favorable environment is created for the generation of new products of organic origin that benefit the diversification of biodiversity, while it presents fair and equitable processes for farmers. This in turn translates into opportunities to improve the family, community and local economy. This is not only an environmental and social benefit, but a positive contribution to the transition to economies of scale that promote more equitable models and ensure healthy, safe and environmentally friendly analog forest products with adequate compensation to farming communities. This work is done respecting the collective rights of indigenous peoples, their representation of the social world and the ecosystem at large.

In addition, they provide solutions for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change and work towards the transformations of the world economy, so that economic relations are more balanced.

COMMERCE ÉQUITABLE FRANCE

The FGP label has been included in the Fair Trade Label Guide of the French Fair Trade Platform  (CÉF) for having incorporated the main Fair Trade requirements into its standards and integrated requirements on social issues and economic criteria. These requirements seek to “ensure that workers and producers receive a fair price for FGP certified products, thus obtaining benefits and a fair return for the work invested in the production, processing and marketing of said products.”

Case study

Sateré Mawé Producers Consortium (CPSM) of Brazil

The FGP label has been included in the Fair Trade Label Guide of the French Fair Trade Platform  (CÉF) for having incorporated the main Fair Trade requirements into its standards and integrated requirements on social issues and economic criteria. These requirements seek to “ensure that workers and producers receive a fair price for FGP certified products, thus obtaining benefits and a fair return for the work invested in the production, processing and marketing of said products.”

The Sateré Mawé indigenous people consider themselves “Children of the waraná (guarana)”. Since ancient times they have produced, processed and consumed this plant sustainably, which has energetic effects, the use of which has become popular throughout the world. The Consorcio de Productores Sateré Mawé (CPSM), is an organization of 500 families committed to protecting their forest while producing and preserving the native waraná and sustainably harvesting other forest products such as cat’s claw, andiroba, achiote, and Brazil nuts. https://www.nusoken.com. They are FGP certified and sold in specialized markets in Europe, receiving fair prices for their efforts conserving tropical forests with high biodiversity in their territory.

The sale of products that have been FGP certified since 2009, contributes to financing the infrastructure and creating a variety of social projects, improving the living conditions of the Sateré Mawé, who have projects for waste management, protection of native bees, creating a women’s association, reappropriation of traditional knowledge through the launch of the Universidad Libre del Wara and ecotourism. With a population of 9,000 people in 2009, the community today numbers 17,000 individuals.

Guayapi is the main buyer of these products, following Fair Trade regulations.

Guayapi is a French company dedicated to the appreciation and valorization of new and traditional plants from their places of origin. The selection criteria of the plants used in Guayapi products are based on their original quality and purity, and in the total absence of chemicals for their production or conservation.

Guayapi’s edible and cosmetic products are certified by FGP ensuring the preservation and restoration of the original ecosystems in accordance with the principles of AF.

Currently, FGP certified products are imported and distributed by Guayapi in 10 European countries, as well as Morocco in Africa and Korea and Japan in Asia. The annual turnover of the commercialization of FGP products amounts to around 1 million euros.

CERTIFICATION BODIES AND ACCREDITED INTERNATIONAL AUDITORS

Currently, there are accredited certification agencies for the verification of FGP Standards. These include the Eco-LOGICA certification company from Costa Rica, IMOcert from Bolivia, and IMO India. IAFN has 16 accredited inspectors for FGP certifications.

FGP certifying agencies

The IAFN authorizes third party certifying agencies to carry out inspections and certifications under FGP Standards. In Latin America, the agencies IMOcert in Bolivia and Eco-LOGICA in Costa Rica are in charge of inspections and certifications, while in Asia, IMO India is the entity in charge. 

IMOCert

IMOcert offers inspection and certification services, through a team committed to ecological, sustainable and socially fair production systems, to producers, processors and marketers in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to facilitate access to specialized markets in the world. It is legally established in Bolivia, with a presence in more than 20 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information visit: IMOCERT   

Eco-LOGICA

Eco-LOGICA was created in 1997 through efforts of the National Organic Agriculture Association in Costa Rica. It came about in response to the need to guarantee the legitimacy of organic products, backed by the accreditation of national and international organizations, offering credibility to the consumer, as well as protection and access to the producer through a quality service at an accessible price. Eco-LOGICA provides certification services in the production and processing of organic and sustainable agricultural products for national and international markets, including the regulations for Forest Garden Products.

For more information visit: Eco-LOGICA  

IMO India

IMO India is an independent certification body in India for organic agriculture that has been conducting audits and certifications since 1995. It provides cost-effective inspection and certification in organic agriculture, processing, exports, verification of inputs used in organic agriculture, wild collection, beekeeping and aquaculture. IMO India is the first organic certifying company in India to obtain international accreditation, since 2004, for its inspection and certification activities.

For more information visit: IMOcontrol  

Why choose the Forest Garden Product Certification system?

The FGP certification constitutes a model that contributes to the generation of savings and sustainable livelihoods:

-The FGP certification helps increase the income of rural families by providing access to the value chain of products and processes developed in accordance with AF principles and FGP production standards.

-By providing means to obtain additional value from sustainably produced products, farmers are encouraged to follow guidelines that benefit biodiversity and the ecological functions of agricultural ecosystems.

– At the same time, families and rural communities’ benefit from the creation of healthy ecosystems, the improvement of their living conditions and access to healthy and nutritious products. They also benefit from raw materials for natural cosmetics and from diversity, as well as other vital resources such as air, healthy and productive soil.

-Regarding the production of primary environmental services, these communities contribute to increasing photosynthetic biomass and thus contribute to the increase and improvement of common goods (Global Commons).

The FGP Standards have (voluntary) standards for the measurement of carbon and soil (FGP International Standards, Annex G), which allows for the certification of these two aspects under the Global Commons.