The development phase of GlobalGAP’s IFA standard version 6 is in full swing. GlobalGAP aims to include as many stakeholders into the revision process as possible. The goal is to create a version 6 that will be practical and easy to use for everyone. To reach this goal, GlobalGAP is drawing on all its resources in various ways.
The World Consultation Tour will begin at the end of May. It offers a unique opportunity to network with experts from the industry. It takes the form of a series of 90-minute video conferences, moderated by experts. These are based on the round table discussion format tried and tested at a number of GlobalGAP Summits. The video conferences are divided into different target groups and languages.
All stakeholders can take part, and participation in the tour is free of charge. It is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, from anywhere in the world. The consultation rounds will examine all areas of the standard to find out which can be simplified, changed, or improved for v6. Everyone can have their say, help shape the standard, and contribute their expertise.
GlobalGAP is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by extending the consultation phase over a longer period. The consultations will be offered online and – where possible – on-site, for a number of months, instead of several weeks, as is the practice of most other standard-setting organizations.
Networking partners are integrated globally. They are now using the time to establish and strengthen connections. Certification bodies, licensed Farm Assurers, and (technical) key account managers all over the world are reaching out to local stakeholders to hear their needs.
CEO Kristian Moeller is optimistic about the opportunity that this level of exchange creates:
“Only those who really feel that they have actively participated in the new standard will ultimately identify with it and then implement it with the right attitude. Those affected must be involved very early in the development process; opinions must be heard at the beginning, not at the end. Those who feel heard will then implement or accept the guidelines more confidently. Intensive discussions with all relevant stakeholders make it clear that the topic of sustainability is gaining importance because you have to think about the industry in the long term. How do we want to live and produce in the future? We want to integrate this idea into the consultation process and produce an even better standard.”
Input from the consultation period shall cover the essential topics, starting with on-farm food safety. Other topics are traceability, workers’ health and safety, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability, all drawing on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There will also be discussions focusing on current and specific new control points and compliance criteria to maximize user experience and allow for simplicity in use.
GlobalGAP’s ability to communicate in a wide range of languages will enable important partners from all over the world – including often marginalized groups in remote regions – to join in and contribute to the improvement of the IFA standard for version 6. The result will be a well-consulted standard which meets the needs and demands of the sector. Such a standard ensures the continued supply of safe and sustainable agricultural products.