GLOBALG.A.P marked the launch of its revised Integrated Farm Assurance standard version 6 (IFA v6) and the GLOBALG.A.P Risk Assessment on Social Practice add-on version 2 (GRASP v2) on April 26, with an online event.
Presented by GLOBALG.A.P and Fruitnet Media International, the event hosted a panel of speakers and was introduced by Fruitnet managing director Chris White and moderated by Bianca Thomas.
Chairman of the GLOBALG.A.P advisory board, Guy Callebaut; vice chairman of the GLOBAL.G.A.P advisory board, Dr Leon Mol; and GLOBAL.G.A.P managing directors Dr Elmé Coetzer-Boersma and Dr Kristian Moeller formed the panel.
At the launch, Dr Moeller said: “[IFA v6 and GRASP v2] is not just a new version, it is a complete overhaul of the GLOBALG.A.P system: a future-proofing of our standards.”
“After 20 years and five updates, it was time to radically simplify the standards. With increasing digitalisation, connectivity, data, and the use of it is more important – we wanted to integrate that.”
The four pillars
The smart farm assurance solutions are the framework that will now underpin each of GLOBAL.G.A.P’s future activities, to support the organisation’s goal of fostering the global adoption of safe, socially and environmentally responsible farming practices.
To ensure that products and services are both fit for the future and easier to use for stakeholders across the supply chain, the smart farm assurance solutions are based on four pillars:
- Smarter standards and add-ons
- Smarter approach to sustainability
- Smarter systems and services
- Smarter integration of data
With this launch, GLOBALG.A.P will implement two of the four pillars, that being the smarter standards and add-ons and a smarter approach to sustainability. The latter two pillars will be deployed over time, as the new systems are implemented.
“We are hailing a new era of processes which will eventually connect all our products and services in a smarter, more intuitive, and simplified way,” highlights Dr Moeller. “As the landscape changes, we must ensure that our infrastructure evolves with it. The IFA v6 update is just the first step of a new journey towards digitalised, impact-driven farm assurance solutions.”
As of April 2022, the IFA v6 is available for fruit and vegetables, aquaculture, and flowers and ornamentals. It is a continuation of a holistic approach to farm assurance, through the key topics of food safety, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, workers’ well-being, traceability, and production processes.
Dr Coetzer-Boersma stated: “IFA v6 is GLOBALG.A.P’s flagship standard in a new and improved format. It has a simplified structure and language, extended criteria on key issues such as sustainability and animal welfare, and – for the first time – continuous improvement at the producer level. Overall, it’s a smarter standard, fit for the future.”
Version 6 is taking a new approach, introducing more rigorous sustainability requirements on greenhouse gases, ecosystem restoration, food waste, and more, as well as moving towards streamlined, customised checklists that reduce duplication and simplify the audit process at the farm level.
IFA v6 also prioritises outcomes achieved, rather than specific measures in regard to meeting requirements. This provides greater flexibility for producers to demonstrate compliance in different ways, based on what is most appropriate for their production practices.
The new version is a ‘consolidated and collaborated effort’, which went through “many field trials and feedback loops.” said Dr Moeller. As a result, producers have been at the forefront of the developments.
“Producers are innovative and we’ve never asked them to show it, so we’ve incorporated that. We have to listen to outside markets and individual producers (who have different requirements and market demands),” noted Dr Coetzer-Boersma.
“If a producer is doing certification for his pears, [the IFA v6] is one standard that is also fit for their process. Producers don’t have time to do all paperwork, they are farming. Therefore, we are making it easier for them to have their certificates.”
The GRASP v2 is a farm-level social management tool for global supply chains. It is a voluntary, ready-to-use add-on developed to assess social responsibility practices, with criteria addressing specific aspects of workers’ health, safety, and welfare.
Version 2 of the GRASP add-on tackles some of the most pressing social issues facing the global supply chain including worker exploitation, child labour, and human rights. GRASP can be assessed at the same time as the IFA audit, providing a cost-effective way for producers to demonstrate social responsibility practices, and for retailers to transparently source products from operations that align with their corporate social responsibility policies.
Assessment is complemented by national interpretation guidelines of local legislation to help assessors and producers understand local compliance systems. A country risk classification, developed on the basis of the Worldwide Governance Indicators issued by the World Bank, also allows flexibility in evidence methods. GRASP is applicable to all production under IFA and is available for all sizes of farms, including smallholders.
GLOBALG.A.P is working on training material that will support anyone that is interested in implementing the new systems. They will also be running a free smart assurance solutions webinar series on the updated product range.
For more information, visit www.globalgap.org/uk_en.