GLOBALG.A.P. North America's Roberta Anderson Discusses Benefits of Certifications
COLOGNE, GERMANY - Trust is vital in any relationship, whether in business or our personal lives. To create stronger partnerships across the fresh produce industry, GLOBALG.A.P. highlights the importance of certifications, including its programs, as they work to instill confidence between buyers and suppliers, minimize costs, and reduce risks.
“Certifications assure buyers that good agricultural practices are being used while also giving producers greater market access,” says Roberta Anderson, Executive Vice President of GLOBALG.A.P. North America, Inc. “This is important as suppliers constantly work to maximize their market access while minimizing their costs to meet demand. As prices for everything from fuel to fertilizer to labor continue to increase, growers can look for efficiencies and savings in audits and certifications; however, they need to be sure to choose the most time- and cost-effective solution.”
As Roberta further explains, the first step in selecting the proper certification is understanding the standards of the market you are working in. For producers, this means looking at the range of certificate options accepted by their buyers and keeping an eye on evolving expectations for assurance of good agricultural practices such as sustainability. Overall, certification programs should also support growers’ efforts in implementing Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) guidelines in addition to covering market requirements for both their fields and facilities.
For the buy-side community, joining forces with suppliers who have achieved these certifications can lower potential risks while increasing supply chain transparency.
“We see tremendous value in buyers participating in, recognizing, and accepting independent certifications like GLOBALG.A.P.’s, allowing producers to select the program that best fits their broader market needs without the expensive distraction of duplicative audits for each market,” Roberta adds. “GLOBALG.A.P. was founded on a principle of reduced duplication and continues to strive for streamlined auditing and certification in partnership with producers and buyers across the globe.”
GLOBALG.A.P. currently offers a suite of Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-recognized certifications trusted in the domestic and global marketplace.
“Our flagship standard, Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA), meets global requirements for a comprehensive GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification and is recognized by Walmart for satisfying its pollinator commitment,” explains Roberta. “Alternatively, we offer the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS) as a food-safety-only option designed by, and for, our North American market.”
Complementing these certifications, GLOBALG.A.P. also recently achieved GFSI recognition for the Produce Handling Assurance (PHA) standard. The program is tailored to cover FSMA requirements and meet domestic retailer requirements for post-harvest handling and can be done at the same time as the IFA or HPSS audit with the same auditor.
To see more of GLOBALG.A.P.’s certifications and how the company is working to support the unique needs of industry members in the United States and Canada, click here.
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