Agroecology is a science and set of farming practices that combines agronomy, society and ecology. Its goal is to create biodiverse, resilient and fertile environments, use and recycle the nutrients and the energy of agroecosystems, while maintaining their self-sustaining capacity. Agroecological farming strives to achieve diversification at farm and/or landscape level, augment biological interactions and agroecosystem synergies as well as reduce dependence on agrochemicals and energy inputs (Altieri, 2002; Miller et al., 2019; Nicholls et al., 2017).
Participatory Guarantee Systems (“PGS”) are “locally focused quality assurance systems [that] certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders.” (IFOAM, 2008). They are built on trust, transparency, social network and knowledge exchange, which altogether reduce certification costs and time (Rosse, 2018).
The Bolivian agroecological PGS certificate is a third party certification system with peer-to-peer verification of organic farming standards, which was introduced by National Law 3525/2005 (Rosse, 2018).
Approximately four months, at max. Every two months (end of January, end of March, end of May, end of July, end of September, end of November) we send an order to AGRECOL Andes with all the purchases we collected in the two previous months. After the order is sent and the transaction is performed, AGRECOL Andes buy the seedlings from the plant nursery and delivers them to the farming community representatives, who will then name tag and distribute them to their community members. Photos of the planted trees are then sent to AGRECOL Andes, who forwards them back to us. Due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions, the whole procedure can take up to two months after the transaction is performed.