What is GLOBALG.A.P?

GLOBALG.A.P. is a brand which provides a selection of smart farm assurance solutions constructed from standards for sustainable and safe production processes in agriculture, aquaculture, and floriculture. It provides an avenue for certification developed in collaboration with experts in each industry.

An Integrity Program and a Community Member organisation (with members across global value chains) support these activities. The brand also has a capacity-building program dedicated to sharing knowledge of responsible farming practices, assisting their attempts at certification, while enabling them to account for shifting market requirements and expanding on their role to fulfil sustainable development goals.

FoodPLUS GmbH, a limited liability co-operation registered in Cologne Germany, owns and manages the brand. The organisation’s main roles include management of the portfolio smart farm assurance solutions and daily activities. It is also the legal owner of the international copyrights for the brand and the GGN consumer label.

We would like to introduce our most popular GLOBALG.A.P. services:

  1. Implementation of GLOBALG.A.P. IFA Version 6 Course
  2. Internal and Supplier Auditing Practices Based on Food Safety Management Systems Course
  3. GlobalG.A.P. IFA Version 6 Document Templates Toolkit

History of GLOBAL.G.A.P.

1996: The Beginning

The origins of GLOBALG.A.P. can be traced back to 1996 when concerns regarding traces of pesticides residing on fresh produce were expressed, and when consumer trust was severely hampered by the BSE crisis in the livestock sector for the UK.

A collection of European retailers took it upon themselves to analyse and respond to the cause of consumer concerns. They had set up an independent, holistic system of certification for Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) by correlating their own standards and procedures to promote the health and safety of workers while preserving the environment.

1997: EurepGAP

EurepGAP (Euro-Retailer Produce Work Group Good Agricultural Practice), was set up in 1997, and experts were tasked with developing this standard to promote best practices in the sector.

1999 – 2000: First Interation of the Fruit and Vegetables Standard

In 1999, seventeen retailers, along with three hundred of their fruit and vegetable suppliers, attended a conference in Paris to outline the new certification system, while motivating suppliers to prepare for third-party inspections.

A year later, the EurepGAP stakeholders attended a meeting in Barcelona to devise a partnership principle between producers and retailers. In the meeting, the outcomes of the Fruit and Vegetables Protocol were presented, which was the first iteration of the fruit and vegetables standard.

2001: FoodPLUS GmbH and the First Producer Certificates

In 2001, FoodPLUS GmbH was established as the legal owner and host of the EurepGAP standard. The fruit and vegetables standard received ISO 65 accreditation, and thus EurepGAP begins issued the first producer certificates.

A UK producer was the first to receive certification for an individual farm, while Fyffe Group’s associated banana growers in Belize and Costa Rica were the first group to receive a collective certification.

2002: First National Certification Schemes

2002 Marked the first national certification schemes that were benchmarked, and these schemes were recognized as being equivalent to the EurepGAP standard by the benchmarking procedure.

2003: Floriculture Standard

Retailers expressed interest in 2003 in compiling a floriculture standard due to the success of the fruit and vegetable standard. The area of primary concern for floriculture certification was sustainability. Flowers and ornamental standards were presented at the Madrid conference.

2004: Aquaculture Standard and GRASP

Salmon was the first species that EurepGAP integrated into its standards portfolio, while the aquaculture standard was put into place in 2004 at the Amsterdam conference.

The first add-on was developed the same year: GRASP – the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment for Social Practice. This add-on can be assessed in conjunction with core certification standards, which assisted in expanding the coverage of the criteria on worker health, safety, and wellbeing.

2005: Baseline for Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA)

In 2005, the baseline for Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) was introduced in the form of the first Livestock standard.

A standard for compound feed manufacturing was also introduced, and the EurepGAP benchmarking tool integrated the first national livestock scheme checklists.

2006: Chinese GAP Fruit and Vegetables Standard

The following year, China had developed its own GAP fruit and vegetables standard (benchmarked against EurepGAP) due to a growing concern for food safety from the rise of public health incidents.

2007: EurepGAP Transitioned to GLOBALG.A.P.

Representatives from 41 countries attended the GLOBALG.A.P. Prague conference to discuss the next iteration of the IFA standard. At a conference in Bangkok in 2007, EurepGAP transitioned to GLOBALG.A.P. to account for the needs of a more global overview.

2008: Introduction of the Integrity Program

In 2008, the integrity program was introduced which was used to observe the delivery of solutions while analyzing the integrity and validity of certificates.

2009: Introduction of LOCALG.A.P.

The first tour was held in 2009, and Primary Farm Assurance was introduced during this time as LOCALG.A.P. which promoted good agricultural practices amongst small-scale farmers.

2010: Introduction of Version 4 of the IFA Standard

In 2010, GLOBALG.A.P.’s first summit was held in London, where Version 4 of the IFA standard was introduced as the most widely utilized, innovative and scientifically sound version to date. The USA becomes the host for GLOBALG.A.P. North America.

2011: First Meeting on Animal Welfare

In 2011, the first meeting of the GLOBALG.A.P. stakeholder committee on animal welfare took place in Dusseldorf, Germany. The objective of the meeting was to introduce prerequisites for animal welfare add-on modules which provide conditions for complementary and voluntary certification for livestock farmers. A network of licensed experts who can provide training for accreditation-seeking farmers was also introduced.

2012: Updates to IFA for Aquaculture and Compound Feed Manufacturing and the Birth of the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy

2012 Saw updates to the IFA for aquaculture and Compound Feed Manufacturing, bringing the focus to promoting sustainability through responsible resource usage. The GLOBALG.A.P. academy was also set up at this time, which provides training to anybody interested in GLOBALG.A.P. certification.

2013: Tour Stops for Input on the Revision of IFA V5

Tour stops were held once more in 2013, which provided the standard with inputs for revision of IFA standard version 5.

2014: Declaration of Abu Dhabi

In 2014 the Declaration of Abu Dhabi introduced eight commitments dedicated to finding new approaches that more efficiently and effectively motivate farmers to adopt safe and responsible production practices.

2015: Annual Tours

By 2015, tours took place annually, consisting of 1,700 delegates and 13 stops with local support across six continents. Successful stops in Spain and the Netherlands displayed a need for the certification market to foster more collaborations and partnerships, intending to add value to food chains fueled by innovation brought on by new technology.

2016: Introduction of the GGN Label

In 2016, the GGN Label was introduced, which was the first communications network for consumers that provides GLOBALG.A.P.-based assurance on products. Originally designated for products from certified aquaculture farms, consumers could check an online portal for information about the farms from which they buy their seafood.

2016 Also saw the summit attracting more than 400 delegates from over 50 countries to celebrate 20 years of global partnerships and 15 years of GAP certifications. The program was mainly concerned with the future of farm certification, encompassing topics such as food safety risks, raising levels of cooperation between public and private entities, measuring for continuous improvement, and utilization of big data.

2017: GGN Label Extended Towards the Floriculture Industry

By 2017, the GGN label was then extended towards the floriculture industry. This year also saw a milestone being reached in the form of 10,000 new producers seeking GLOBALG.A.P. accreditation. In just one year, another milestone was reached, in the form of the 200,000th farmer seeking certification; at this time, GLOBALG.A.P. has become one of the largest farm assurance schemes across the globe for Good Agricultural Practices, covering over 120 countries.

2019: Extention of the Advisory Board

In 2019, the size of the GLOBALG.A.P. Advisory Board saw a great extension by incorporating members from Latin America and the Asia-Pacific, which helped raise the foundations for a globally representative governance structure elected by Community Members. The network of Technical Key Account Managers also saw an increased size, thus covering all major regions that greatly require farm assurance schemes.

2020: Revisions to the GLOBALG.A.P. Portfolio of Farm Assurance Solutions

2020 saw revisions to the GLOBALG.A.P. portfolio of farm assurance solutions. Considering the COVID pandemic and its related travel restrictions, GLOBALG.A.P. brought forward two solutions to avoid disruption to critical supply chains: the Remote Procedure that provides tools for remote audits, and a series of harvest videos motivate and support local citizens to aid with harvesting procedures.

2021: New Logo Design for the GGN Label and Interim Final Drafts of IFA v6 and GRASP v2

A special virtual event was held in 2021, where a new logo design for the GGN label was introduced. The new label covered agriculture, aquaculture, and floriculture. The same year, the Advisory Board approved the interim final drafts of IFA v6 and GRASP v2.

2022: Launch of IFA v6 and GRASP v2

A year later saw the launch of both IFA v6 and GRASP v2, which marked of the period where more data-intensive standards with more interwoven, simpler-to-understand certification.

The same year there were also revisions to core solutions (e.g. Compound Feed Manufacturing standard and GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody standard), which had the effect of extending the GGN label into the cut, washed, and frozen sections of the fruit and veg industry.

The Livestock IFA was not upgraded to v6 at the time, and GLOBALG.A.P. began to invest in searching for partners to aid producers in moving on to similar schemes.

Currently

Currently, GLOBALG.A.P. is one of the world’s most sought-after farm assurance programs, catering for more than 130 countries, and helping to integrate consumer requirements into sustainable, safe farming practices.

Roles and Responsibilities

The program is governed by a system of key value chain stakeholders and experts which ensure solutions are cost-effective, realistic, and detailed. They have various roles and responsibilities, ranging from standard and add-on development and approval to overseeing their local implementation.

GLOBALG.A.P. Advisory Board

The advisory board is comprised of a 50/50 representation from both the production and retail sides of the agricultural, aquacultural, and horticultural industry. They aim to provide strategic input to guide how activities are carried out on behalf of the Secretariat.

GLOBALG.A.P. Secretariat

They are a collaboration of people from across the globe who are dedicated to overseeing the portfolio of available smart farm assurance solutions and daily operations. They work together with the Advisory Board and consist of technical and nontechnical teams.

Technical Committees

These committees are responsible for the maintenance, review, and revision standards and add-ons, and consist of production and retail/food service representatives (GLOBALGAP, 2024a).

Focus Groups

Focus Groups help drive innovation inGLOBALG.A.P. smart farm assurance solutions by bringing forward insights into their sectors, while also contributing their unique expertise on key subjects and issues.

They are assembled when required to provide input on areas that the secretariat says are of special importance. They consist of a variety of experts with different backgrounds and are based around a specific topic while providing feedback on development processes or revising current standards and add-ons.

They are an open forum for anyone with industry-related expertise, and membership is not limited to Community Members (though one member from both the production and retail/food service industry and a member from the secretariat are always included). The length of each group is determined by the project’s nature, and the frequency of meetings is determined by group members.

Other Committees

Certification Body Committee

The committee collects information garnered from the huge volume of annual audits carried out by hundreds of certification body auditors while discussing issues related to implementation, and overseeing the certification process carried out by the theGLOBALG.A.P. certification system.

The committee is formed from experts that originate from GLOBALG.A.P.-approved certification bodies. Certification body stakeholders have their interests represented in the certification system. Allows for the efficient movement of information, especially regarding recent updates to the certification process. Devises changes which are then inspected and approved by the appropriate technical committees.

Integrity Surveillance Committee

In conjunction with the Integrity Program, it guarantees stakeholder confidence in the certification system is upheld. It acts as an independent committee who are responsible for decisions regarding performance-related certification body (CB) standards, and corrective actions informed by the Secretariat integrity assessments.

It represents industry experts who comprise a jury of stakeholders from outside the CB who assess cases of inadequate CB performance. They review integrity reports that were carried out by the Secretariat. They monitor the quality of work carried out by approved CBs and suggest sanctions that can be put in place by the Secretariat.

Benchmarking Committees

Each benchmarking application process needs its committee, which is formed of independent experts from each link of the value chain. The committee is focused on coordinating the various stages of application and submitting the final recognition or rejection of a benchmarked scheme or checklist.

National Technical Working Groups

These groups assist in addressing issues by enacting GLOBALG.A.P. standards and their add-ons at a local level. They are comprised of Community Members, experts, and relevant stakeholders originating from local backgrounds.

These groups detect issues regarding carrying out GLOBALG.A.P. standards on a local level, due to legislative or structural complications. To rectify the issue of local implementation, they establish the national interpretation guidelines (NIGs) to aid local producers, and CBS, in auditing against GLOBALG.A.P. principles and criteria.

GLOBALG.A.P. Community Members

These members play a major role in aiding the continuous improvement of standards and add-ons while increasing the adoption of sustainable farming practices across the globe and innovating the entire supply chain.

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