GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR 2017 Greece!

Close to 150 participants attended the GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR STOP in Athens, commemorating 30 years of TÜV HELLAS. This huge interest also mirrors the great importance of Greece to GLOBALG.A.P. Despite the difficult economic situation, the number of GLOBALG.A.P. certified producers is still increasing. Today, roughly 14,500 producers are certified in Greece.

In his speech Giannis Tsironis, Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food, stressed the point that certification adds value to the local production of fruit and vegetables, and can be seen as a passport to international markets.

Guy Callebaut, GLOBALG.A.P. Board Chairman, thanked TÜV HELLAS for the organization of this TOUR STOP. “We are here to learn from you”, he stated. A total of 15 TOUR STOPS are scheduled to take place around the globe this year.  

Savvas Peltekis, TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) SA Managing Director presented the values and history of the company as well providing insights into the Greek farming sector.

In his presentation Guy Callebaut explained the structure of GLOBALG.A.P. and stressed the important role that producers and their representatives play in the governance of the GLOBALG.A.P. System.

Dr. Friedrich Lüdeke, Senior Expert at GLOBALG.A.P., presented the new standards Crops for Processing (CfP), Chain of Custody (CoC) and GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP). He also touched on the co-operation with the Sustainable Rice Platform and Farm Sustainability Assessment by SAI Platform. Furthermore, he pointed out that programs have been established by GLOBALG.A.P. to address problems producers are facing with pests and diseases, an example being the TR4 Biosecurity for Bananas Add-on.

Dr. Vassilis Stamatis, Expert/Integrity Assessments at GLOBALG.A.P., explained the extensive internal integrity program used by GLOBALG.A.P. The CERTIFICATION INTEGRITY PROGRAM (CIPRO) consists of certification body performance monitoring, producer (re-)assessment, certification body office assessment, and the assessment of producers certified under benchmarked schemes.

Dr. Stamatis also introduced a new tool, the Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The scope of this program is to monitor the performance of GLOBALG.A.P. approved certification bodies (CBs) and to foster their ongoing improvement. To that end, data are collected from direct on-site and remote assessments (CIPRO), through administrative monitoring by the GLOBALG.A.P. Secretariat, as well as on the basis of statistics from the GLOBALG.A.P. Database. All data are considered within their context and proportions (e.g. number of clients/database management), and the publication of the final evaluation is revised and updated twice a year.

Ionnis Stoitsis of FOODDAKAI explained an online Food Integrity System and provided insights on the topic.

Chrissi Kotonia of BAYER Crop Science introduced BayG.A.P. to the audience. BayG.A.P. is a service program which supports farmers worldwide to become certified and connected to the food value chain. It is an important contribution that promotes good agricultural practices around the world, benefiting farmers, food chain partners and consumers.

George Kravvas of TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) SA and President of the Greek NTWG explained the importance of adjusting the GLOBALG.A.P. requirements to the local situation. All stakeholders who are part of this NTWG are working in that direction. Mr. Kravvas also invited the audience to join the NTWG in order to improve the implementation of GLOBALG.A.P. IFA even more.

Christina Papaioannou from AGRITEX explained the implementation of GLOBALG.A.P. IFA for tomato greenhouse production. Besides GLOBALG.A.P, AGRO 2-1, 2-2, ISO 9001, 22.000, BRC and IFS are also implemented.

Ioannis Charalampakis of the AC TYMPAKOU Grower Association from Crete provided an overview of the development of his organization. Around 450 members produce 14,000 tons of vegetables and olive oil per year. He described the difficulties that are faced when trying to change the mind set of producers with regard to certification. As a result of many years of continuous work, 252 producers are now GLOBALG.A.P. certified. Mr. Charalampakis pointed out that a large number of certification systems are required by customers, despite the fact that these systems only have marginal differences. AC TYMPAKOU is certified according to HACCP, ISO 22.000 and IFS. On the other hand, the implementation of these quality assurance schemes leads to a daily improvement of activities.

Anne-Corine Vlaardingerbroek from Jumbo Supermarkets in the Netherlands explained their approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Supermarkets are generally held responsible although the retailers’ influence is often limited due to the complexity of supply chains. As a result, it is more-or-less impossible to guarantee that all issues can be ruled out. Jumbo Supermarkets is making a great effort to ensure very thorough risk assessment in order to identify potential hazards. In her summary, Mrs. Vlaardingerbroek stressed the shared responsibilities and the partnerships with suppliers: “Transparency and trust for our shared customers”.

Dionisis Dionissopoulos, QA Director at AB VASILOPOULAS S.A. (Ahold Delhaize), pointed out that there is no Greek word for “product integrity”. Nevertheless, AB aims to ensure its suppliers and producers are committed to meeting all of its criteria and specifications. At the same time, it offers guidelines and training to suppliers and producers to help them combine their experience and dedication with sound and innovative practices resulting in products that are affordable and of excellent quality.

To this end, specialized AB staff have prepared the AB Agro-Assurance Guide for all enterprises involved in production, standardization, packing and distribution of fruit, vegetables and other crop products. This guide includes all Greek and European legal and regulatory provisions currently in force regarding sound practices during production, sorting, packaging, traceability, labeling and distribution of products.

View photos of the event.

Preliminary Program - Day 1

08:45 - 09:20                 
09:20 – 10:00 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Mr. Savvas Peltekis, Managing Director, TUV HELLAS
Mr. Guy Callebaut, Chairman, GLOBALG.A.P. Board
Mr. Giannis Tsironis, Alternate Minister of Rural Development and Food(pending)
Mr. Ioannis Karagiannis, President of HELLACERT
Mr. Spiros Mamalis, GEOTEE (GREEK CHAMBER OF AGRONOMIST)                                               
10:00 -  10:30

General introduction on GLOBALG.A.P.: Global challenges, global solutions
Mr. Guy Callebaut, Chairman, GLOBALG.A.P. Board

10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 - 11:30

New Certification Standards – Challenges and Expectations
Dr. Friedrich Lüdeke, Senior Expert Training, GLOBALG.A.P.

- A presentation of the new standards (CfP, CoC & GRASP) as well future thoughts on sustainability and the Environment. GLOBALG.A.P.  will provide a detailed update on the new scopes and more strategic program developments.
- Introduction of CoC standard

11:30 - 11:45
Dr. Vassilis Stamatis, Expert / Integrity Assessments & Training, Cipro Auditor, GLOBALG.A.P.
- Statistics on Cipro program as well Facts and Trends
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Presentation
11:45 - 12:00

Open Questions to the Panel

12:00 - 13:00

Session 2
The Experts Opinion

Mr. Carlos Hernandez, International Sales Manager, TRICHODEX, Bioprotection for agriculture
Mr. Christos Katsanos, Executive Director, DKG Group
Mr. Ioannis Stoitsis, FOODAKAI: an online Food Integrity System  
Mrs. Chrissi Kotonia, BAYER Crop Science Division, Introduction to BAYGAP
Open Questions to the Panel
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch Buffet
14:00 - 15:00

Session 3

‘Short talk from the members’
George Kravvas, NTWG president - TUV HELLAS

  • The roles and potentials of the working group
  • Introduction by the members
Mrs. Christina Papaioannou, AGRITEX (Greenhouse)
The producers view on the implementation of the standards
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee Break
15:30 - 16:10

Session 4

A presentation of the retailers view: Requirements and specifications.

Mrs. Anne-Corine Vlaardingerbroek, Manager CSR, Jumbo Supermarkten
Mr. Dionisis Dionisopoulos, QA Director AB VASILOPOULOS S.A. (Ahold Delhaize)

16:10 - 16:30 Open Questions to the Panel
16:30 - 17:00

’Open Forum’ – Your Questions answered

The ‘Open Forum’ session will provide the opportunity to raise those questions left unanswered and, present our expert panel with the challenges still to come. Delegates will be asked to post questions throughout the day.

17:00 - 17:30

Closing Remarks

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