Standard requirements see increased protection of the environment and health as well as occupational safety
June 30,2016,Nairobi.Ever-growing retailer and consumer demands that are required of growers and producers are putting the industry under pressure.Previously common active ingredients may no longer be used and the approval procedures for new products are getting stricter.The lack of Europe-wide harmonisation, for example for the approval of plant protection products, is not making things easier for the industry.Furthermore, an increasing amount of retailers require certification within the framework of GLOBALG.A.P. from their suppliers.The internationally recognized standard for agricultural production is winning increasing recognition – alone since December 2014, the number of certifications for flowers and ornamentals producers according to the GLOBALG.A.P.Standard increased by 20%.A large part of the production comes from the Netherlands, but numerous companies from Germany, Denmark and Italy have also opted for this standard.
The certification according to GLOBALG.A.P.improves not only everyday operation and simplifies methods of documentation.It also assures market access to the retail market.As the market for certified flowers and ornamentals has a promising potential for growth, the retail trade is responding to these demands with a wider range of products that meet appropriate environmental and social standards.For producers, certification under GLOBALG.A.P.is therefore the key to world markets and also increases confidence among consumers.
The most important changes and new requirements
Version 5 of the GLOBALG.A.P. Standard for controlled agricultural business management (IFA – Integrated Farm Assurance) entered into force on 1 July 2015.Within the one-year launch phase, companies have the option of being certified according to the still valid Version 4 or the current Version 5.From 1 July 2016 onwards, only the latest version will be legally binding.In summary, these are the most important changes and new requirements:
Handling of plant protection products
Additional criteria and measures have been defined which should avoid drift of pesticides from or to adjacent surfaces.(V5 CB 7.3.8)
In order to strengthen the aspect of energy efficiency, further criteria have been defined to make it easier for producers to monitor their energy consumption, to reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources, and to maintain equipment properly.(V5 AF 7.3.2)
The waste management plan has been supplemented by the description of environmentally sound storage areas for fuel and oil tanks.(V5 AF 6.2.3)
In Version 5, the adaptation period for non-certified plants is regulated more clearly.(V5 FO 1.3)
Responsible use of water
New criteria that promote efficient and effective water management and ensure that producers comply with applicable regulations on water consumption have also been defined.The standard contains a water management plan for the responsible use of water and a risk evaluation in the context of the water management plan, which will be obligatory from July 2017.(V5 CB 5.2.1)
The rights of workers have been strengthened even more by the changes in Version 5, with improvements for the working conditions of permanent employees, seasonal workers, piece workers and day labourers.The criteria include the transport of workers on public roads, the storage of food, the design of break rooms, on-site accommodation, communication, health checks and the review of service providers.
Latest updates of the V5 documents can be downloaded from www.globalgap.org/documents.
For further information on the GLOBALG.A.P. Standard for Flowers and Ornamentals, please go to www.globalgap.org/FO.