The products covered by GLOBALG.A.P. include crops, commodities, and foods of animal origin, so the Good Agricultural Practices can be applied both on the crop farm and wherever animals are reared. Within the standard, the fruit and vegetables module was the first one developed specifically for produce to cover the primary production destined for human consumption.
With consumers becoming more and more concerned about food safety and quality, as well as with the environmental and social impact of the food production processes, sustainability is a key word for the agricultural development. Most of the European retailers, responding to consumer expectations, ask for sustainable products. It is often a mandatory requirement to enter the supply chain.
What is the standard?
GLOBALG.A.P. is the globally recognized pre-farm gate standard for ensuring the quality and safety of a final product in the agricultural sector as well as sustainability of farming activities.
The latest version of the standard Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) is composed of different modules, including an overall module (all farm based), three main base scopes (crop base, livestock base and aquaculture base) and several specific sub-scopes, ranging from fruit and vegetables to dairy, from combinable crops to fish.
The Fruit and Vegetables scheme covers the whole agricultural production process of the certified product, from the plant in the ground to non-processed end-product.
The GLOBALG.A.P. IFA - Fruit and Vegetables standard focuses on:
- Farmers’ and consumers’ safety and wellness
- Traceability of products and production records
- Minimization of agrochemical inputs
- Integrated Crop Management (ICM)
- Efficient resources utilization
- Environmental awareness
- Compliance to local and international regulations
The objective of GLOBALG.A.P. certification is to cover part of the verification of Good Practices in the whole production chain. It may link up with other food safety standards such as BRC and IFS to cover the entire supply chain.
Why is certification good for my business?
The consumers’ increasing demand for confidence in safe and sustainable food, the producers’ need to produce affordable food in a sustainable way and the retailers’ need for a dependable tool for their suppliers is a basic motivation for certification. Sharing the food production guidelines with growers, food producers and retailers – specifying how food is grown and what was used to produce it – is an important contribution to the harmonization needed to achieve clear and transparent processes. This will give farmers several benefits:
- Better and easier access to the market
- Clear agreements with retailers
- More opportunities for fair competition
- Possible increase in quality and quantity
- Possible reduction of long term production costs
- More effective management of production processes and legal issues
- Higher commitment for improvement
How can I prepare for certification?
It is important that you and your company are positive, committed, and set clear target dates for implementation and assessment. To prepare for certification you need to become familiar with the GLOBALG.A.P. standard.
Being familiar with the standard will help you with the following:
- Clear dialogue with the buyers: Consultation between farmers and buyers on quality and quantity will facilitate cooperation, and support compliance with specified requirements
- Knowing what knowledge and expertise is required, using the support of experts and consultants when needed
- Planning of production: Production operations can be planned in order to comply with the standard requirements
- Management of input: All the inputs to the production processes are evaluated according to the standard requirements
- Management of product on farm: to preserve safety, legality and quality
- Investments in farm: To keep equipment well maintained, manage waste disposal, provide training for employees, maintain a high quality and safe working environment
- Record keeping: A milestone for implementing GLOBALG.A.P. and a prerequisite for traceability
DNV GL - Business Assurance is a third party certification body. We provide relevant certification services to the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA - Fruit and Vegetables standard.