Dear Members and Supporters!

Do you remember 1997? Do you know where GLOBALG.A.P.’s roots lie?

2016 will likely go down in history as a year of disruptive surprises. Uncertainty and unexpected changes seem to have reduced the global level of trust in everything around us, be it through wars, weather extremes, earthquakes, data security or nationalistic movements. Luckily we did not experience a major food-borne disease this year. In such volatile times, global organizations like GLOBALG.A.P. become more important as guarantors of trust in our global food system.

And yet we have also challenged the status quo of our certification service sector. Three months ago at our SUMMIT in Amsterdam, we discussed the future of farm certification and shared our anticipation of disruptive elements that may change the way we work. But did we also challenge our values or mission? Certainly not!

In times of uncertainty, we all need guidance to stay on course. And guidance is largely provided by our roots, by the purpose of our foundation. We need to remember our history. Why does GLOBALG.A.P. exist? How did it come about? What were the thoughts of the founders in the early years of Eurep and EurepGAP between 1997 and 2001, before the first certificates were issued?

I am currently collecting that information for a small book about twenty years of GLOBALG.A.P. milestones, from the first meeting in Almeria, Spain, to the Amsterdam SUMMIT 2016. And it is amazing: Our mission and relevance have not changed a bit. In fact, many early charts I have looked through could actually still be used in our current layout today.

Yet staying up to date with today’s language is important in order to reach out to the incoming new generation of young decision-makers in our industry. I therefore applaud the Board, chairs and co-chairs of our technical committees on taking the time in February 2017 to sharpen our brand value proposition.

I would like to invite you all to read these milestones once they are published. They remind us of our history, which explains why we exist as an industry partnership that globally connects farmers and brand owners in the production and marketing of safe food to provide reassurance for consumers. This in turn lays the foundations for the protection of scarce resources through the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices with the promise of a sustainable future.

I wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year, with a few moments of time to pause and consider our roots, in order to find orientation in the months and years that lie ahead.

Yours,

Kristian Moeller