Press Release

News Conference FRUIT LOGISTICA 2015

Building a Global Solution through Partnership and Collaboration

GLOBALG.A.P. presents new partnerships in push to counteract ever growing number of duplicative audits

Berlin, Germany, 5 February 2015 – Fruit Logistica

GLOBALG.A.P. has announced a new push for international collaboration to reduce the cost of certification by enabling combined audits and connecting various databases.

“There is still far too much duplication of audit standards on fruit and vegetable farms.  Collaboration is the fastest way to reduce them,” explained Guy Callebaut, Vice-Chairman of the Board VBT/BelOrta, Grower, and GLOBALG.A.P. Chairman of the Board, at the annual Fruit Logistica news conference in Berlin. “We are proud to present today a number of organizations with whom we were able to create sustainable, mutually advantageous partnerships that also benefit farmers. We will increase our efforts and extend our invitation to cooperate with more global and local systems as well as market players looking for efficient and effective mainstream solutions. As a partner we offer a global solution for farm assurance that is applicable to all farm sizes, with no ambition of competing with consumer-facing labels, downstream supply chain partners, or government audit systems.”

GLOBALG.A.P. has recently teamed up with LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), launched a joint initiative (The Declaration of Abu Dhabi) together with the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform and the International Trade Centre (ITC), and entered into partnerships with UNIVEG as well as REWE International AG. These were the first steps undertaken in 2014 to counteract the ever growing number of duplicate audits around the world and to increase the incentives for farmers to adopt safe and sustainable production methods, which will be followed by further new partnership initiatives in the coming years.

Partnering with LEAF to provide a combined audit

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is a leading organization promoting sustainable agriculture, food and farming. It helps farmers to produce good food, with care and according to high environmental standards, identified in-store by the LEAF Marque logo. The LEAF Marque is an assurance system that recognizes sustainably farmed products, based on LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management (IFM) principles. All LEAF Marque certified farms are independently inspected to ensure they meet stringent criteria to demonstrate that food is being produced to high environmental standards across the whole farm.

“We work with farmers, the food industry, scientists and consumers, to inspire and enable sustainable farming that is prosperous, enriches the environment and engages local communities,” explained Jeremy Boxall, LEAF Marque Director and LEAF Commercial Manager, “and the collaboration with GLOBALG.A.P. enables us to operate the LEAF certification as a true add-on, i.e. without duplication of the GLOBALG.A.P. audit.”

Rainforest Alliance: combining audits with SAN (Sustainable Agricultural Network) standards

In order to further deliver value to farmers and in line with signals from retailers, GLOBALG.A.P. and Rainforest Alliance/SAN have agreed to explore the possibility of developing a combined audit checklist for their farm certification audits. Such an approach would enable approved certification bodies, who carry out audits on behalf of both standard owners, to conduct a single audit as the basis for two certificates.  The two standards; GLOBALG.A.P. and SAN will remain independent of each other.  The discussions are aimed at exploring the possibilities of improved efficiencies and reduced auditing costs at the farm level.

“We understand the need for reducing costs of certification,” said Andre de Freitas, Executive Director of SAN. “This approach will not only reduce the time auditors need to spend on farms, but also minimize duplication for farmers preparing for certification of the two standards.”

Those farms that successfully achieve the required standards of the SAN obtain Rainforest Alliance Certified™ status.

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is a coalition of non-profit conservation organizations in America, Africa, Europe and Asia promoting the environmental and social sustainability of agricultural activities through the development of standards for best practices, certification and training for rural farmers around the world.

Declaration of Abu Dhabi as a milestone toward global food security through a common set of good agricultural practices

The Declaration of Abu Dhabi for Global Food Security through Good Agricultural Practices is a private-public partnership initiated by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) platform, the International Trade Centre (ITC), and GLOBALG.A.P. Launched in October 2014, over 40 signatories have already committed to the Declaration and begun the technical work.

The main objective of this initiative is to make it easier and more cost effective to adopt safe and sustainable practices on farms across the globe. In doing so, the earth's productive capacity can be protected, thus securing food supplies today and in the future.

“This initiative provides a novel approach to addressing the challenge of feeding 9.6 billion people by 2050,” explained Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBALG.A.P. “It is focused on farms, where decisions are made on a daily basis that can yield a safe and plentiful food supply while protecting natural resources for future generations. It aims to establish common resources that can enhance existing standards, assessment tools and initiatives, rather than compete with them. It's a win-win situation for all involved.”

Collaboration with UNIVEG to synchronize GLOBALG.A.P. certification data

As part of the company’s Intelligent Traceability Strategy, UNIVEG and GLOBALG.A.P. are collaborating to develop interface solutions with the GLOBALG.A.P. Database, thus improving both the efficiency of due diligence processes as well as the quality of traceability data. The cooperation with GLOBALG.A.P. is central to UNIVEG’s Intelligent Traceability Strategy, which focuses on working in close collaboration with key IT partners to develop a range of specialized food safety and traceability software solutions.

“Collaboration lies at the heart of UNIVEG’s Intelligent Traceability Strategy,” said Ben Horsbrugh, Director of Quality Management. “As a company we believe that working in strategic partnerships with selected IT companies – and even with our competitors – produces the best and most cost-effective software solutions.”

Collecting data to measure sustainability in cooperation with REWE International AG

The Sustainability Project (NHP) is a further add-on developed by GLOBALG.A.P. together with REWE International AG and GLOBAL 2000. It provides transparency regarding on-farm sustainability metrics and measures continuous improvement, all without sharing individual metrics publicly or with downstream supply chain partners.

About GLOBALG.A.P.:

GLOBALG.A.P. is one of the world`s leading farm assurance systems that offers a clear focus on food safety paired with other significant elements of Good Agricultural Practices, a transparent and robust integrity system equipped with an increasing flexibility to respond to market requirements, and modular and customized solutions for certification, farm assessments, and capacity building. Today, approximately 140,000 primary producers are under GLOBALG.A.P. Certification in 118 countries. GLOBALG.A.P. schemes primarily focus on product safety, environmental impact and the health, safety and welfare of workers and animals.

Contact: Claudia Meifert at meifert@globalgap.org.

Photo (l to r): Flavio Alzueta (GLOBALG.A.P.), Jeremy Boxall (LEAF), Kristian Moeller (GLOBALG.A.P.), Guy Callebaut (Chairman GLOBALG.A.P.), Leon Mol (AHOLD, GLOBALG.A.P. Board), Per Bogstad (Rainforest Alliance).

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Download the presentation of the GLOBALG.A.P. News Conference at Fruit Logistica here.