How will version 6 change the lives of certified farmers?
We launched version 6 last April, and we plan to launch the final version in October in Madrid. We are currently busy translating the documents and training auditors. By the end of the year, we will have completed more than 35 training sessions for certification bodies. Version 6 will help us to be closer to farmers. It has been designed as a simpler version so as to reduce audit burden. The overall objective has been to reduce audit time over the course of consecutive audits. Version 6 is also more outcome-oriented. Producers now have more ways to demonstrate compliance and show their continuous improvement. We have also strengthened in the area of sustainability: there are now more positive stories producers can tell to their customers. Depending on the markets they supply to, we offer producers the choice between our “smart” edition (our flagship approach) and a GFS edition, for those that supply to markets that require recognition by GFSI. We have also invested a great deal in making our training sessions with the auditors more instructive, such as via virtual farm visits. Version 6 may include some additional requirements, but they will be less specific than the private standards of retail chains.
How many retailers are likely to embrace the Biodiversity add-on?
Lidl is today piloting the add-on in five of its supplier countries: Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland and Greece. The add-on will undergo some updates as it was originally launched with version 5. In the mid-term, the add-on will be part of our broader sustainability strategy, taking into account what we have learned with our first partner (Lidl).
Spring add-on: what impact is this having on groundwater management today?
This add-on has already been implemented in 25 countries with 3,600 farmers, representing 187,000 ha worldwide. It is an important component in the sustainability framework of some retail organisations that use it as a risk tool, as it provides criteria for good water management. In some high-risk countries, Spring is already being used to actively help farmers comply with regulations and demonstrate their improvements. GLOBALG.A.P version 6 also includes water use measurement.
What sustainability initiatives from the seafood or meat sectors could inspire the F&V sector?
Capturing metric data (e.g. for sustainability) has always been part of aquaculture and is something we can definitely learn from. We have also learned from GGN Aquaculture how to communicate with consumers about our cross-category label, GGN. We now have more transparency through greater traceability. In order to use the GGN label, there is a need to have the Chain of Custody standard that ensures produce is truly sourced from GLOBALG.A.P. certified production. Data sharing and privacy are among the main challenges of the future. We must use data in a smart way to demonstrate that our standard makes a difference and benefits its users.
Managing director of FoodPLUS GmbH (GLOBALG.A.P.)
President of GLOBALG.A.P North America
Senior consultant at EHI Retail Institute