Bio Calédonia is the first functional PGS in the Pacific Community. The association Bio Calédonia was created in August 2009, in New Caledonia, to manage a certification system adapted to smallholders and for the local market in New Caledonia. The association decided to set up a certification system using the "Pacific Organic Standard" which was developed at the level of the Pacific Community, with assistance from an IFOAM project. The Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom), currently hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has set-up a PGS review committee to oversee PGS developments in the Pacific region and grant PGS in the region the use of the Pacifica Organic "PGS" logo.
Bio Calédonia, supported by the "Chambre d'agriculture" and association ARBOFRUITS of New Caledonia, developped a PGS manual. However, the association has opted for a mixed system, based on a PGS, but with representation of an independent certification body in the certification committee – the organ reviewing local groups' reports and being involved in the final certification decision. The decision to involve an independent certification body has been taken to ensure the official recognition of the PGS, as New Caledonia is setting-up a competent authority to manage and control quality labels on its territory. External control was a prerequisite to be recognized by this authority. The external certification body carries out an annual inspection of the whole PGS system (hence the concept is somewhere between group certification and PGS).
Learn more about this initiative on their website: www.biocaledonia.nc