Truly global, farm-targeted certification with high level of accessibility and applicability. Food safety and produce type specific adjustments lie at the core without compromising on environmental sustainability. This thorough, ladder-approach tool gives a leg-up even for the smallest of farms.

Description

GLOBALG.A.P. is a business-to-business standard for safe and sustainable food production providing certification for crops, livestock and aquaculture through its 16 standards. For producers who may not be able to meet GLOBAL.G.A.P criteria, a stepping-stone to certification is available through localg.a.p. GLOBAL.G.A.P also offers add-ons for those producers who want to upgrade their performance. Currently add-ons are available for animal welfare and social practice. Standard setting is done through collaboration between different committees with technical experts, stakeholders, certification bodies and GLOBALG.A.P board members and secretariat.

GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Standards (IFA) were recently updated and now includes new and updated control points and compliance criteria on water. The first translations of IFA version 5 came out in November 2015. An integrity program which is made up of a certification integrity program monitoring and assessing the performance of its certification bodies and a database indexing all certified producers ensures transparency. GLOBALG.A.P also offers harmonization services by listing standards and schemes fully or partially conforming to GLOBAL.G.A.P certification. GLOBALG.A.P certifies over 400 products and more than 112,600 producers, spread across 100 plus countries as of December 2015

Farming

A risk assessment must be conducted which identifies environmental impacts of the water sources, distribution system, irrigation and crop washing usages, taking into account off-farm impacts where applicable. An action plan that takes water supplies into account needs to be in place. There should actions and initiatives to enhance the environment for the benefit of local community and flora and fauna. Relevant permits for water extraction must be followed. Water supplies are also accounted for in the compulsory wildlife management and conservation plan.

Most criteria take the food safety perspective. Untreated sewage must not be used for irrigation/fertigation or other pre-harvest activities. The use of treated water or water from other sources (e.g. upstream village farmers) needs to comply with WHO water quality guidelines or local legislation. Frequent water testing and risk assessments need to be performed and corrective actions taken if necessary. There must be no microbial contamination of water used during harvest or cooling.

Thoroughly covered, in terms both of quality and quantity and of input and discharge water. Irrigation requirements are calculated based on e.g. rain and soil moisture data. A water management risk assessment should be performed, treating the environmental impact of irrigation usage. Records for crop irrigation/fertigation water usage and irrigation equipment maintained.

Recommendation on application of fertilizers should be provided by an external advisor. Trade name, type, concentration, quantity and application method should be recorded. Organic fertilizer need to have been subjected to a risk assessment before use, nutrient content and chemical content of inorganic fertilizers need to be documented. Use of human sewage sludge (treated or not) is prevented. Safe storage assured. Equipment should be verified and calibrated.

Producers need to show evidence of preventative measures to control pests, monitoring and intervention activities (non-chemical approaches should be used where possible). Targeted use of plant protection products (PPPs) in situations of pest attack. PPPs to be selected by qualified advisor and management techniques should be based on observation. A written justification should be available for the use of soil fumigants. Integrated pest management systems should be implemented through training or advice.

At least two preventive actions should be implemented to minimize pesticide need. Anti-resistance recommendations must be followed. There should be a list of PPPs used on purchased propagation material. Safe storage must be ensured (e.g. facilities must be able to deal with spillage).

The farmer must have a Wildlife management and conservation action plan, enhancing habitat and biodiversity on the farm through knowledge of integrated pest management practices, nutrient use of crops, conservation sites, water supplies, impact on other users etc.

Mass balances and conversion ratios (input-output calculations of a certain production process) should be calculated and controlled. No examples on preventive/corrective measures mentioned.

Water collection and recycling is recommended where commercially and practically feasible.

Energy use should be monitored and an energy efficiency plan should be in place. The same plan should take into consideration to minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources.

The farm should have a risk assessment for hygiene and a documented hygiene procedure that addresses the identified risks. Farm workers should receive an annual hygiene training (mainly related to food safety). Farm workers in direct contact with the crop must have access to hand-washing equipment and make use of it. There should be clean toilet facilities nearby the workplace.

There should be a water management plan in place that covers impacts of farm activities on off-farm environments. Possible waste products and sources of pollution must be identified. Waste water resulting from washing contaminated machinery should be safely collected and disposed of.

A soil management plan must consider the nutritional needs of crops and assure that soil fertility is maintained. This includes control practices to reduce the risk of erosion.

A soil management plan must consider the nutritional needs of crops and assure that soil fertility is maintained. This includes techniques to improve or maintain soil structure and avoid soil compaction, e.g. the use of deep-rooting green crops, drainage, sub soiling, low pressure tires, tramlines, permanent row marking, avoiding in-row plowing, smearing and poaching.

A soil management plan must consider the nutritional needs of crops and assure that soil fertility is maintained.

Processing

Possible waste products and sources of pollution are identified. Waste water resulting from washing contaminated machinery should be safely collected and disposed of.

The site should be kept in a tidy and orderly condition, and possible waste products and sources of pollution be identified. Written procedures should be available for disposal of glass and plastic from produce handling and storage.

Water collection and recycling is recommended where commercially and practically feasible.

Energy use should be monitored and an energy efficiency plan should be in place. The same plan should take into consideration to minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources.

Internal transport should be maintained to avoid produce contamination, especially in terms of fume emissions. Transport trolleys should be electric or gas-driven. An energy efficiency plan that takes into consideration to minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources should be in place.

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