A new era has begun for small and medium-scale fresh produce and livestock producers, as all the major retailers in South Africa have accepted the localg.a.p. programs for these two sectors and are initiating implementation programs.
“This is a momentous day in my career as a veterinarian, the day when the tree has grown and perhaps we can start picking the fruits off the tree”, says Dr. Peter Davies. Fifteen years ago, Dr. Davies embarked on a process to ensure veterinarians get back on farms to conduct food safety, quality, and animal welfare inspections, which eventually led to SA LivestockGAP, the localg.a.p. program for livestock in South Africa.
South African retailers have also played a key role in the capacity building process. “There is such a huge benefit for us as a retailer with regards to the introduction of localg.a.p”, says Massmart/Walmart’s Silnia Badenhorst. Offering localg.a.p. as a tool toward GLOBALG.A.P. Certification “will definitely open many more markets for emerging farmers in South Africa.”
localg.a.p. offers small-scale farmers a stepping stone approach to achieving GLOBALG.A.P. Certification. It can only be used for local and regional markets. Donavan Jooste from Shoprite/Checkers (Freshmark) adds , “localg.a.p. gives farmers the opportunity to have the capacity building program where they can prepare themselves to go from a lower level to a higher level of certification.”
Speaking at the GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR 2013 stop in Somerset West, Pieter Wolmarams of PFW Attorneys encouraged the agricultural sector to work more closely with the legal sector. He also urged a more proactive approach to ensure that systems are put into place early on, so as to avoid situations where it is too late and things need to be fixed afterwards. He believes GLOBALG.A.P. Certification can act as a bridge between the Consumer Protection Act and how the industry actually functions.
Initiating localg.a.p. programs in South Africa has been a joint effort coordinated by GLOBALG.A.P. and the Food Safety Initiative (FSI), a division of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA). An industry initiative dedicated to protecting public health and consumer interests in the area of food safety and nutrition, the FSI’s role is to provide impartial and objective scientific information to the South African food industry, other stakeholders, and the public at large.
View the TOUR 2013 South Africa video here.
Learn more about localg.a.p. here.
Learn more about how the Food Safety Initiative works in South Africa here.