Tomato growers in Florida have come one step closer to reaping the benefits of the ‘one auditor through the farm gate’ goal that the industry is striving for, as Florida State Auditors can now also conduct GLOBALG.A.P. audits, a certification recognized by major American retailers.

Prior to this, tomato growers in Florida were required to undergo at least two different audits, one for the public sector and one third-party audit for the private sector. The United Fresh-developed Harmonized Standard, in combination with the Tomato Metrics, bridges this gap, simplifying the certification process for Florida tomato growers.

The adoption of the single checklist by the two auditing processes, the public mandatory tomato audit and the ISO-accredited GLOBALG.A.P. audit, allows now for one auditor to conduct one audit as a base for two certificates.

“The opportunity to bring the auditing process to a single focus is significant in moving toward a single audit with multiple attributes.  Audit fatigue is real and focusing the industry’s resources on the everyday operation, not on multiple audits, is progress,” says Reggie Brown, Executive Vice President of the Florida Tomato Exchange.

GLOBALG.A.P. North America President, Kristian Moeller, feels similarly that “combining forces with the public and private sector to develop an effective and efficient solution for farms makes sense. Food safety and consumer protection are both a public and private task, and we hope to replicate this model with other commodities as well.”

Currently, certification body NCS International Pty Ltd is approved to complete these audits.

For more information, please click here.