On several of the articles published for the “Best Food Importers” website, no 1 world directory of food importers and distributors from all over the world, when we talked about the need for certificated products and about the importance of getting your products certified, one particular certification featured prominently due to it’s particular relevance, namely the GLOBALG.A.P. certification. We dedicate this editorial featurette to this topic, a short overall presentation of this important certification.
In the year 1997, a group of retailers, members of the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group , underwent an initiative named EUREPGAP, an initiative stemming from the awareness of the British retailers, working together with supermarkets in continental Europe, in relation to the consumers concerns regarding product safety, environmental issues and social issues of the agricultural sector as a whole. The solution was a harmonization of procedures and standards and the development of an independent certification system for good agricultural practices. The EUREPGAP standards helped producers comply with the Europe-wide accepted criteria listed above, helping them spend less by eliminating the need for their products to undergo different audits against different standards in different countries. Over the next ten years, this independent certification system spread on the European continent and in the whole world. The globalization phenomenon manifested itself also in this respect, thus gaining EUREGAP global significance. To reflect this global significance EUREPGAP changed its name to GLOBALG.A.P. in 2007.
With over 1400 trained inspectors and auditors working for more than 140 accredited certification bodies certifying over 400 products and more than 112,600 producers, spread across 100 plus countries in 5 continents, it is understandable that GLOBALG.A.P can now claim to be: “most widely accepted private sector food safety certification in the world.“
GLOBALG.A.P. offers 16 standards for 3 scopes: Crops, Livestock, and Aquaculture, localg.a.p. and GLOBALG.A.P.+ Add-on offer programs for developing customized solutions producers. This certification covers food safety and traceability, environment (including biodiversity), workers’ health, safety and welfare, animal welfare, including Integrated Crop Management (ICM), Integrated Pest Control (IPC), Quality Management System (QMS), and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Overall, the standard that must be attained in order to obtain this certification demands “greater efficiency in production, improves business performance and reduces waste of vital resources. It also requires a general approach to farming that builds in best practices for generations to come.”
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