Launch of the Integrated Farm Assurance Standard Version 5.3-GFS

In order for GLOBALG.A.P. to maintain recognition of its Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) version 7.2 benchmarking requirements for the sub-scope Fruit and Vegetables and the scope Aquaculture and to gain recognition for the Hop sub-scope, an updated version of IFA has been published on 21 February 2020. This version, referred to as IFA v5.3-GFS, becomes obligatory on 21 May 2020 for those users supplying customers who demand compliance with a GFSI-recognized standard.

IFA v5.3-GFS will remain benchmarked against GFSI v7.2 until 21 February 2021. The new GFSI v8 benchmarking requirements will be published in February 2020, so that by mid-2020, the new IFA v5.3-GFS will be replaced with another version as a result of the GFSI v8 requirements. The IFA standard v5.3-GFS will be short-lived, but necessary in order to maintain availability of a GFSI-benchmarked standard.
IFA v5.2 will continue to be valid (but no longer GFSI-recognized) until IFA v6 is published in 2021. In summary, there will be two parallel valid versions of IFA: IFA v5.3-GFS, which has GFSI v7.2 recognition, and IFA v5.2, which will lose its GFSI recognition on 21 May 2020.


IFA v5.3-GFS includes Aquaculture, Fruit and Vegetables, and Hop. No changes have been made in the control points and compliance criteria of the Fruit and Vegetables sub-scope or the Aquaculture scope. Two changes have been made to the Hop sub-scope control points and compliance criteria; they are explained in the edition update register. The most important changes affect the Crops rules and the general regulations (GR) I, II, and III:

  • Where high-risk products are produced, sampling of producer group members is not allowed – each member shall be inspected (GR I 5.2.3; GR I a); Crops rules 4.1.2 (ii)).
  • Sampling does not apply to product handling units handling high-risk products (Crops rules 4.2).
  • The QMS shall ensure that members of management annually conduct a documented management review (GR II 2.1 b)).
  • Changes in initial CB inspector/auditor training before sign-off (GR III, Annex III 1 and 2, 3.4 d)).
  • The CB report and the completed inspection/audit checklist shall be uploaded/transferred to the GLOBALG.A.P. database and – if requested – given to the producer in a write-protected format (GR III 6.1 n), o), and p)). 
  • Hop sub-scope: HO 1.3.1 and HO 4.4.6 are new points.