Evaluation and reliability of the organic certification system: perceptions by farmers in Latin America

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Abstract

In recent years, organic agriculture has developed rapidly, and organic certification systems are now used worldwide. However, if these standards are unable to meet their promises, their reliability will be called into question and trust in organic products will fade. As major suppliers of organic food to the European market, it is crucial for Latin American farmers to show their customers that the standards they have implemented are actually delivering what they promise. Considering the manifold resources that are being poured into these systems, it seems reasonable to critically review their reliability. A central indicator for the reliability of the system is the overall evaluation of organic certification. Therefore, it is the objective to analyse the relationship of both constructs. Findings show that most farmers are satisfied with the organic certification system and believe in its reliability; however, they fear the costs of bureaucracy and documentation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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