GLOBALG.A.P. is the world’s leading private sector farm assurance standards organization offering several different types of certification programs. The Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) scheme is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI); it is based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for the production of crops, fish and livestock. GLOBALG.A.P. certifies producers in more than 125 countries worldwide supporting safe, sustainable agriculture. Certification against the IFA Standard demonstrates a producer’s commitment to implementing and maintaining safe food practices, which helps increase access to global manufacturers and retailers requiring GFSI-recognized certification from their suppliers.
The IFA Standard takes a modular approach to certification, whereby producers may be certified against several different sub-scopes in a single audit. The Standard is organized according to four main scope modules (e.g. Crops Base), or general production systems. Each scope is further broken down into sub-scope modules (e.g. Fruits & Vegetables) covering specific production practices according to product type. Within each scope and sub-scope are Control Points and Compliance Criteria (CPCC), which must be met to achieve certification.
FoodChain ID Certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to certify individual and group producers against the Crops Base of the IFA Standard with the following sub-scopes: Fruit & Vegetables (FV), Combinable Crops (CC), and Hops (HO). FoodChain ID Certification additionally certifies against the GRASP module, which is a voluntary add-on module that can be combined with an IFA audit. GRASP stands for GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice and is an evaluation of a producer’s farm practices surrounding worker health, safety and welfare.
Certification to the IFA Standard is currently against v5.1 as of October, 2017. Click here to download IFA Standard documents from the GLOBALG.A.P. website.
In recent years, widely publicized food recalls as the result of food safety management failures within production systems have put buyers on alert regarding supplier assurance. Manufacturers and retailers are increasingly requiring GFSI-recognized certification of their suppliers. For fruit and vegetable producers supplying to the U.S., there is the additional requirement for compliance with Produce Safety regulation of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). GLOBALG.A.P. certification helps achieve the required level of assurance and regulatory compliance at the inception of the supply chain by helping producers identify and reduce food safety risks through GAPs and HACCP based implementation.
GLOBALG.A.P. certification is a straight forward process beginning with registration of the producer or producer group, which is followed by self-assessment against the applicable checklist for scope/ sub-scope and on site inspection.
FoodChain ID Certification has extensive experience in third party certification of primary production systems, which is matched by our commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. At FoodChain ID Certification, our customers are our top priority and we demonstrate this through close communication throughout the certification process.
Is your company interested in GLOBALG.A.P. certification? Consider the following FAQs to help you on your way.
Different certification pathways are available within the IFA scheme. A producer can choose from the following options:
Option 1 enables certification for single producers (i.e. an individual or legal entity) who have one or more production sites under the same ownership. There are three categories from within option 1 depending upon whether the producer is seeking certification for one or more sites and whether certification of the producer’s quality management system (QMS) for multiples sites is desired.
- Single producer – one site
- Single producer – multiple sites without QMS
- Single producer – multiple sites with QMS
Option 2 enables certification of multiple producers defined as a producer group, where the group is certified as a legal entity. Certification by option 2 requires that all producers and production sites within the group operate according to a QMS in addition to meeting scope/ sub-scope CPCC. The QMS is evaluated according to control points defined in the Quality Management System checklist applicable to all scopes.
The GGN identifies each individual producer and member of a producer group for the purpose of traceability and confirming a producer’s certification status through GLOBALG.A.P.’s database. For businesses implementing a GS1 standard, the Global Location Number (GLN) replaces the GGN.
Contact FoodChain ID Certification for a GLOBALG.A.P. application. Upon receiving the completed application, FoodChain ID Certification shall confirm the scope/ sub-scope and provide you with GLOBALG.A.P.’s Sublicense and Certification Agreement. Once the Agreement is signed and GLOBALG.A.P.’s registration fees are paid, FoodChain ID Certification will register your organization in GLOBALG.A.P.’s database for a unique GGN. Once the registration process is complete, FoodChain ID Certification will assign a qualified auditor and schedule the inspection.
The IFA Standard is a compilation of documents to support the modular nature of the Standard. It includes General Regulations, Control Points and Compliance Criteria (specific to each scope/ sub-scope), Checklists (corresponds to CPCC documents), and Guidelines and Supporting Documents (e.g., FSMA Guidance and Self Assessment), which can be downloaded from the GLOBALG.A.P. Document Center.
Certification against the IFA Standard requires a documented self-assessment (Option 1 individual site or multisite without QMS) or internal audit (Option 1 multisite with QMS or Option 2) annually against CPCC of applicable checklists, which are dependent upon a producer’s scope/ sub-scopes. For example, an apple producer seeking certification would need to evaluate their food safety management system against the All Farm Base – Crops Base – Fruit and Vegetables checklist.
Need help? FoodChain ID Certification’s team of certification experts are readily available to help explain the process and get you started.
GLOBALG.A.P. has a network of licensed Farm Assurers who are independent consultants trained in implementing GAPs, IFA control point and compliance criteria, and assessment protocol. Farm Assurers can help you interpret the Standard and simplify audit preparations. Visit to www.farmassurer.org to learn more about GLOBALG.A.P. approved Farm Assurers.
Announced inspections are conducted annually to maintain certification and include assessment against all CPCC of the applicable checklist by the auditor. Control points (CP) represent individual requirements of the Standard and are categorized as Major Musts, Minor Musts, or Recommendations, whereas Compliance Criteria (CC) represent the expectation for achieving CP compliance. One hundred percent (100%) of applicable Major Musts and 95% of applicable Minor Musts must be met for certification. A non-conformance and sanction are assigned when the minimum score is not achieved.
The annual inspection and QMS audit (where applicable) may be performed as a combination of off site/ on site assessment or solely as an on site inspection/ audit. Where a combination approach is used, the site’s self-assessment, procedural documents, risk assessments, material lists, analysis reports, and related documentation may be evaluated off site by the auditor just prior to the scheduled inspection. This evaluation is then followed up by the on site inspection (conducted by the same auditor) to verify information presented during the off site assessment and evaluate site processes according to checklist criteria.
The producer or producer group is certified within 28 days of the inspection or within 28 days of closing a non-conformance where minimum compliance criteria for certification were not met.