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International partnership for new certificate for CEA-grown produce

The FarmTech Society and GlobalGAP recognize each other in their membership programs, initiating a new open partnership to develop and implement a certification specifically for new “indoor” high tech systems with natural and artificial lights.

The partnership is open to all industry stakeholders small and large to help advance a comprehensive new certificate for innovative production systems.

Innovative production systems in CEA require new standards
The partners have identified the need for all stakeholders active in the production of produce in CEA systems to form a working group at a pre-competitive level to address critical challenges, such as climate change, consumer trust and food security facing the industry. The partnership will develop best-practice standards for the certification process, recognising the need for a multidisciplinary / multi stakeholder approach in developing a certificate – by and for industry stakeholders in CEA.

The partnership will strengthen the existing well-established foundation of the GlobalGAP Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) process by adding criteria for new technologies and cultivation methods, inserting dynamic data collection applications and adapting to the potential of the digital era, keeping future options valid.

The main goal of the GlobalGAP revision process is to deliver a standard that will take into account producers’ practices and the risks presented. The unique challenges presented by vertical farming or more generally, produce grown in controlled environments will be addressed to ensure appropriate user experience. Additionally, the group will focus on implementing real-time monitoring and data-driven solutions to facilitate the certification process, enabling transparency and traceability.

Taking into consideration the limits in technology by engaging with growers, retail, innovators and proven experts in the supply chain, the certification target will enhance the advantages of the end products and differentiate them in the marketplace.

The development roadmap will have three milestones: The first phase “open call for design and information gathering” will be kicked-off with a press conference at Fruit Logistica 2020, on February 6th 2020. The second phase commences in June 2020 with the conclusion of the public consultations with multiple partners, and extensive international stakeholder meetings. The third phase is scheduled for fall of 2020 with pilot testing in key supply chains followed by a market-wide peer review and introduction in 2021.

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