The GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer Capacity Building Program (FA-CAP) trial project in China has so far provided valuable insights and first successes. FA-CAP’s goal is to establish the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer as a universally recognized brand that communicates a high level of competence and integrity.

1. FA- CAP Trial Project in China: Providing G.A.P. Training at University Level
2. FA-CAP Trial Project in China: Putting Theory into Practice
3. Benefits of the Training Program in China
4. How FA-CAP Works: A Two-Step Learning Framework

1. FA-CAP Trial Project in China: Providing G.A.P. Training at University Level

The increase in demand for GLOBALG.A.P. Certification worldwide has equally raised the demand for qualified G.A.P. consulting and auditing professionals, especially in regions that have already been experiencing the strain of limited professional capacity. But this is not only a concern for countries facing the challenge of developing their national agricultural base. The lack of local capacity is also a strategic concern for GLOBALG.A.P., as the GLOBALG.A.P. Certification System relies considerably on a well-trained class of professionals to consistently deliver and transfer the high level of integrity that GLOBALG.A.P. demands and is known for–and which our stakeholders depend on–regardless of location.

Recognizing its unique position to facilitate a solution, GLOBALG.A.P. developed the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer Capacity Building Program (FA-CAP), which has two clear objectives:

  • To serve as a resource to help transfer science-based G.A.P. knowledge around the world.
  • To strengthen the global capacity of our industry by working with local educational partners as well as integrate them into a global educational network of partner learning institutions.

2. FA-CAP Trial Project in China: Putting Theory into Practice

In 2012, GLOBALG.A.P. initiated a pilot project in China to trial and evaluate the FA-CAP training concept. The following list outlines the progress and milestones of the project so far:

  1. After the development of the training concept and program, the FA-CAP Advisory Committee with public and private stakeholders was set up, consisting of:
    • Carrefour (China) Management & Consulting Service Co., Ltd.
    • Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture
    • Yunnan Agricultural University, College of Landscape and Horticulture
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    • Van Hall Larenstein/University of Wageningen
    • Juye Goodfarmer Fruits & Vegetables Co., Ltd.
    • Triglory International Co. Ltd.
    • China Ansense (Beijing) Food Safety Technology Co., Ltd.
    • SGS Nederland BV.
    • China Quality Certification Centre (CQC)
    • SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services Co., Ltd.
  2. In September 2013, on-site meetings and webinars were conducted with the FA-CAP Advisory Committee in Hong Kong to discuss and finalize the short-term training program as well as prepare the trial phase.
  3. With the support of various stakeholders, practical learning materials for ten on-farm training modules were developed.
  4. In March 2014, a Farm Assurer Training for teachers of Yunnan Agricultural University took place in in Kunming City.
  5. In March 2014, a FA-CAP information day was conducted for students of Yunnan Agricultural University to introduce the GLOBALG.A.P. System and the training program for Young Professionals. Additional support came from Carrefour (China) Management & Consulting Service Co., Ltd, which gave a presentation on quality management from a retailer’s perspective, and offered internships to GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professionals.
  6. In April 2014, a six-day GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professional training was offered to 3 groups of students of Yunnan Agricultural University. The training was based on the FA-CAP concept and conducted by the university’s teachers, a GLOBALG.A.P. auditor from CQC, Farm Assurers from China Ansense (Beijing) Food Safety Technology Co., Ltd, and the national quality manager from Carrefour (China) Management & Consulting Service Co., Ltd.
  7. In April 2014, students successfully completed practical training and passed a final written exam: 30 students received the certificate for GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professionals.

3. Benefits of the Training Program in China

Professor Zhu Haishan, Dean of the College for Landscape and Horticulture, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming City, P.R. China:
“My college and my students were lucky to participate in the training program provided by GLOBALG.A.P. During this period, students learned the basic knowledge of G.A.P. and understood the needs of a farm and company. At the same time, students also established a relationship with Carrefour and CQC among others.
Comparing with other students I thought that those students will have more choice when they look for a job. On the other hand, my college is one of GLOBALG.A.P.’s partners now, so we can carry out more training programs together with local companies as well as provide some services to local farms in the future.”

Mr. Fengfa Qu, auditor and GLOBALG.A.P. scheme manager at China Quality Certification Centre (CQC):
“I think the training will be a great help to improve GLOBALG.A.P. Certification in China, especially in the southwest of China, and also the standardization of Chinese agriculture. For the southwest of China, there are a lot of advantages in agricultural production, such as a good environment, a suitable climate, and many kinds of high quality produce, but agriculture standardization knowledge is insufficient or hard to understand for producers there. The young professionals trained this time have a serious attitude and showed good learning ability, and they will help to improve the situation of agriculture in southwest of China, as well as the development of GLOBALG.A.P. in China. For our company, I think some of these students will supply advisory services to some of our clients, and also some of these students will be hired by our local branches. All this will be beneficial to the development of our GLOBALG.A.P. certification.”

Xu Kai, National Quality Manager, Carrefour China:
“It's a great program to train students in Yunnan Agriculture University as GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professionals. I’m sure that students can get much more useful knowledge through this program and it will definitely increase their competitiveness after they graduate. We can also select and hire some of them afterwards because we already know that they have completed a series of G.A.P. training. This help us to save training costs for newcomers, In my personal opinion, it's my honor to be one of the trainers participating in this program and to teach these students things that will be useful during their future work.”

Liu Gaowen, Ansense (Beijing) Food Safety Technology Co., Ltd:
“This training is perfect for the current conditions and comes at a very good time. Increased wealth in China has led more and more Chinese to want to consume healthier and safer products, but people don't know how and where to buy these healthy and safe agricultural products. China is a very big market, but there are only approx. 300 GLOBALG.A.P. certificates. If more farms want to gain for GLOBALG.A.P. Certification, we first need more young people to do help support this process.

The university graduates of China will benefit from Germany’s high science-based standards, and by training many young professionals in this field, GLOBALG.A.P. will gain a broader reach in the Chinese market. The overall benefit is for the Chinese consumer, who will be able to enjoy a wider variety of safe and healthy agricultural products.”

4. How FA-CAP Works: A Two-Step Learning Framework

The program aims to turn university students without prior professional experience into GLOBALG.A.P. Licensed Farm Assurers through a two-step process:

Step 1: Attaining “GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professional” Status
By attending practical training modules in addition to a general course of study in agriculture or food safety, as well as studying materials provided on an online e- learning platform and passing a final exam, students earn a GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professional Certificate. This step provides students with the solid foundation required to pursue a GLOBALG.A.P. career path as well as gain working experience in this field.

Step 2: Attaining “GLOBALG.A.P. Licensed Farm Assurer” Status
The GLOBALG.A.P. Young Professional Certificate fulfills the formal qualification required to become a GLOBALG.A.P. Licensed Farm Assurer. In addition, applicants must gain further experience and training in order to meet all the requirements defined in the GLOBALG.A.P. Licensed Farm Assurer qualification checklist.

For more information, please visit www.farmassurer.org.

FA-CAP Contact: Britta Huebers