GFSI Recognizes GLOBALG.A.P.’s Integrated Farm Assurance and Produce Safety Standard

GLOBALG.A.P. North America has announced that the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has recognized its Integrated Farm Assurance and Produce Safety Standard, according to GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition, BI and D Scopes (Farming of Plants and Pre-Processing Handling of Plants respectively), for food safety and traceability.

“We are very committed to meeting our growers’ supply chain requirements, and welcome the re-benchmarking of IFA and the first recognition of PSS by GFSI,” says Thomas Fenimore, executive vice president for GGNA. “GLOBALG.A.P. offers growers in the USA and Canada a range of standards to meet their certification needs, and the requirements of their customers, for the domestic and international markets. GFSI recognition further enhances our innovative product line by meeting retailer benchmarking expectations. We appreciate the recognition of our standards by retailers and foodservice providers.”

Tim Spreier, director of Lipman Produce Companies says, “As the largest field-grown tomato producer in the USA, Lipman is using the certification body NSF Agriculture to perform the GLOBALG.A.P. Produce Safety Standard audit with the optional Tomato Metrics checklist. Lipman feels that both of these advanced audit schemes comprehensively review our farming, packing, and distribution channels along with being accepted by our entire customer base.”

GLOBALG.A.P. offers North American produce growers three general use standards:

  1. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA): the most widely accepted import/export farm certification standard worldwide—comprehensive, progressive and holistic in scope.
  2. Produce Safety Standard (PSS): the perfect option for growers seeking food safety and traceability certification in the domestic market—a subset of IFA with an upgrade path.
  3. Primary Farm Assurance (PFA): the non-accredited assessment stepping stone towards full certification, an entry-level standard that assesses fundamental food safety for local and domestic markets

IFA is the passport to the global agricultural market. PSS is the ideal solution for growers supplying to the domestic market and/or those who do not require IFA’s comprehensive criteria. PFA is the first step towards certification, the North American version of our localg.a.p. Standard. IFA and PSS are expandable via optional add-ons and alternate industry-specific checklists like the Tomato Metrics. All offer individual farm and producer group certification, which provides central management and cost-savings benefits. Each is backed by GLOBALG.A.P.’s database and CIPRO (Certification Integrity Program) systems.

“We look forward to introducing a packing house standard in the near future to further augment our product line,” says Jonathan Needham, vice president of operations, GGNA. “Furthermore, we are deeply committed to reducing audit fatigue and support the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative led by United Fresh, and the Harmonized Standards checklists.”

Achieving GFSI re-recognition is a terrific achievement for GLOBALG.A.P., says Ben Marchant, vice president of marketing, NCSI Americas, a provider of auditing and certification services. “Once again, growers will be able to choose between several GFSI programs with GLOBALG.A.P. at the fore as the world’s largest GAP standard.  GLOBALG.A.P.’s Produce Safety Standard is an innovation in GAP certification that nobody was aware that we needed – until now that it’s in place and being audited against, giving growers an intermediary standard to meet as part of their continuous improvement toward full IFA certification.  Further innovations such as a GLOBALG.A.P. packing house standard will be widely welcomed by the produce community and we look forward to it being rolled out.”

United Fresh Applauds the GlobalG.A.P. Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president food safety and technology, United Fresh Produce Association, says, “GLOBALG.A.P. was the first of the GFSI-benchmarked audit organizations to adopt the Harmonized Standards as their National Interpretation Guideline in the USA, so we are confident that fresh produce suppliers, and buyers that are requiring their suppliers to be certified to a GFSI-benchmarked standard, will find GLOBALG.A.P.’s PSS and IFA to be reasonable and complete food safety standards for Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) audits.  The Harmonized Standards were developed by the broadest spectrum of fresh produce suppliers and customers to meet food safety assurance needs, and we encourage all audit organizations to utilize the Harmonized Standards for their GAPs checklists.”

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