The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) recently recognized GLOBALG.A.P.’s IFA standard as a trusted farm assurance scheme. This distinguished achievement is the outcome of a food assurance initiative that arose out of a meat scandal in the Netherlands nearly a decade ago.

Private assurance schemes ease the burden of government oversight

The discovery of horse DNA in meat labeled as ground beef caused a costly breakdown in public trust in the Dutch meat industry in 2013. In response, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, established the Food Confidence Task Force to work to restore consumer confidence in Dutch agricultural products and preempt future damages.

The Task Force recognized the value of private quality assurance schemes as a way to support government supervision and ensure consumer confidence in food products. But how were they to know which of the available quality assurance schemes could be trusted to achieve these goals?

To answer this question, the Task Force developed a list of key criteria which a private food assurance program must satisfy to be selected as a government-approved certification scheme. Now, only schemes that successfully complete the NVWA’s stringent assessment and can demonstrate strict operational control over their processes, certification bodies, and governance structure, and that adhere to their own policies, can earn this coveted recognition.

GLOBALG.A.P. achieves official recognition

GLOBALG.A.P. recently completed the Task Force’s rigorous assessment process and our IFA standard achieved official recognition from the NVWA as a reliable farm assurance system for the fruit and vegetables and combinable crops product categories. The process began back in 2014 with a self-assessment in response to an invitation from the Task Force. This was followed by a document review of normative requirements by the NVWA, and an internal audit. The final step was a series of on-site audits of GLOBALG.A.P. certified Dutch farms performed by NVWA officials.

We are pleased that the NVWA now officially recognizes GLOBALG.A.P.’s IFA standard as a reliable benchmark for food safety,” said GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director Kristian Moeller.

When auditing producers, Dutch food safety officers will now take into consideration whether they are certified to the IFA standard. Producers that adopt our standard will enjoy lighter government supervision and will be demonstrating their commitment to supplying trustworthy, safe food in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

Click here to learn more about how your company can benefit from certification to the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standard.

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