Since April 2022, producer companies can prepare for certification with the latest version of the IFA standard V6 from GLOBALG.A.P.. "We are trying to improve the efficiency of the audits by means of digitalization and the standards by constant adjustments. Therefore, it is important that they are practical, pragmatic, but also scientifically sound in their implementation. Here, the review and also the communication of the results must be supported consistently, simply and digitally. This is our major task," Managing Director Kristian Möller told us in an interview.
Right: Dr. Kristian Möller - Image: GLOBALG.A.P.
IFA Standard V6 mandatory as of January 2024
"Audits to IFA Standard V6 are already taking place, with a completely new system integrating and consistently issuing them from April 2023. From January 2024, version 6 and the GRASP add-on 2.0 will be mandatory. In the meantime, we are still rebuilding the system so that the respective national add-on modules can be inserted," Möller said. The standard has been expanded to be "less prescriptive" and more producer-oriented: "We are offering producers significant assistance in implementing their risk management on their own responsibility."
This is the smart edition of V6, which is more "outcome based" and is one of two editions. The second edition is again focused on GFSI recognition, which is predominantly of interest to the North American market and to some extent the Japanese market, he said.
Vision for the future
"Smart systems can act intelligently in a variety of situations, often combining processes into one easy-to-use touch point. The term 'smart' also perfectly embodies our vision for the future of controlled agricultural business management solutions. For documentation, growers can use user-friendly, individualized checklists for this purpose." For example, a potato producer can also include social aspects that are claimed differently depending on the customer. The checklists are created automatically.
In order to offer certified products, producers must apply to one of the 160 certification bodies worldwide, which are trained and licensed by GLOBALG.A.P. beforehand. "The automatically generated checklists for self-monitoring or for the documentation of their own operating processes can be printed out by the producers via our website, filled in and forwarded to the certification bodies. Based on the document created, the auditors check the relevant information on site, with ten percent of the audits taking place unannounced. The auditors then decide whether direct action needs to be taken or in what timeframe the farms need to rectify any deficits," Möller explains.
Nationally defined interpretation guidelines are also used to make local legislation and certain terminology more comprehensible in the relevant languages and to adapt them to the respective requirements. The standards are basically applicable worldwide. To provide the latest version, an international panel consisting of traders, producers and other stakeholders was previously consulted in several rounds. "We have the ambition to be closer to the producer and to meet the societal interest for more sustainability and more food safety."
One piece of good news Möller can take away from 2022, he said, is that "we are offering the industry, primarily retailers and producers, a solution that maps a consensus from different perspectives. That helps the entire industry communicate in a consistent way."
Visit the company at Fruit Logistica in Hall 27, F-34.
For more information:
Dr. Kristian Möller
Tel: +49 221 57776 -0
Fax: +49 221 57776 -1999