GLOBALG.A.P. published a solution for remote inspections, audits, and assessments: GLOBALG.A.P. Remote. During an expedited consultation phase lasting until 5 May 2020, stakeholders were invited to comment on the procedure. 46 organizations or individuals from more than 20 different countries offered their feedback.
It is a response to the COVID-19 crisis and utilizes the established system. It builds on the current rules for the standards and add-ons by providing guidelines on conducting remote inspections, audits, and assessments.
In many regions, inspectors and auditors cannot access production sites due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, annual inspections, audits, and assessments can be postponed by up to 6 months, as published in the emergency procedure on 26 March 2020. This will continue to be the case. As a result, demands for inspections, audits, and assessments are expected to increase in the second half of 2020 to an extent that there will likely be a shortage of available inspectors and auditors. In addition, there has not been a solution for those certificates for which the 6-month extension has already expired.
- Initial certification, re-certification, certificate scope extension, transfer, etc. may be granted based on fully remote inspections, audits, or assessments.
- The solution is applicable to all GLOBALG.A.P. standards and add-ons, including localg.a.p./Primary Farm Assurance for each scope and sub-scope, but not to the Integrated Farm Assurance standard v5.3-GFS and the Produce Handling Assurance standard.
- GLOBALG.A.P. Remote is applicable to all GLOBALG.A.P. add-ons as per approval by the add-on owner. A list of all the approved add-ons is published in ANNEX I. of the procedure.
- Unless otherwise specified, the respective rules of the given standard and/or add-on apply.
Initial certifications based solely on GLOBALG.A.P. Remote shall not be considered accredited until the first on-site follow-up inspection/audit has been successfully completed (cf. section 4.4).
- GLOBAG.A.P. Remote is to be implemented for all control points in the same way as an on-site inspection/audit and is valid during the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice. If travel restrictions are not in place, it cannot be used.
Source: Global Gap.