The GLOBALG.A.P. standards cover products that include crops, commodities, and foods of animal origin. The Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.) can be applied both on crop farms and wherever animals are reared. Within the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standard, the aquaculture module is specifically designed to cover the primary production of farmed seafood destined for human consumption.
Consumers are more and more concerned about food safety and quality, as well as with the environmental and social impact of the food production processes. Sustainability is the key word for the primary production development. Most of the European retailers, responding to consumer expectations, ask for sustainable products. It is often a mandatory requirement to enter the supply chain.
What is the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA Aquaculture standard?
GLOBALG.A.P. IFA – Aquaculture is the globally recognized pre-farm gate standard for ensuring the safety of a final product in the primary production sector as well as sustainability of farming activities. The standard is used to manage and communicate Good Agricultural Practices between professional partners in a value chain.
The current version of the standard Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) is composed of different modules, including an overall module (all farm base) and three main base scopes (crop base, livestock base and aquaculture base) and several specific sub-scopes. The aquaculture sub-scopes available with the current version of the standard are finfish, molluscs and crustaceans, which are embedded in the aquaculture base mode.
The aquaculture scheme covers the whole farming process of the certified product, from when egg or fish enters the production process to non-processed end-products.
The GLOBALG.A.P. IFA – Aquaculture standard focuses on:
- Farmers’ and consumers’ safety and wellness
- Traceability of products and production records
- Minimization of chemicals and medicinal inputs
- Animal welfare
- Efficient resources utilization
- Environmental awareness
- Compliance to local and international regulations
The additional Chain of Custody (CoC) scope covers all activities once products are sold off the farm and its legal ownership over the product is taken over by a different party – trading, storing, collecting, transport, and processing to the point of final customer selling to the end-consumer. The scope consists of a management system with an appropriate combination of segregation and identification to ensure that certified and uncertified fish are not mixed. The objective of GLOBALG.A.P. certification is to cover parts of the verification of Good Practices in the whole production chain; it may link up with other food safety standards such as FSSC 22000, BRC and IFS to cover the entire supply chain.
Why certify to the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA – Aquaculture standard?
The consumers’ increasing demand for confidence in safe and sustainable food, the aquaculture producers’ need to produce affordable food in a sustainable way, and retailers’ need for a dependable tool for evaluation of their suppliers are basic motivations for certification.
Certification will give farmers several benefits:
- Better and easier access to the market
- Clear agreements and dialogue with retailers
- More opportunities for fair competition
- Possible increase in quality and quantity
- Possible reduction of long-term production costs
- More effective management of production processes and legal issues
- Higher commitment for improvement
How can I prepare for certification?
Follow these steps to prepare for certification:
- Clear dialogue with the buyers: Consultation between farmers and buyers on quality and quantity will facilitate cooperation, and support compliance with specified requirements.
- Knowledge and expertise: Is required, using the support of experts and consultants when needed.
- Planning of production: Production operations can be planned in order to comply with the standard requirements.
- Management of input: All the inputs to the production processes are evaluated according to the standard requirements.
- Management of product on farm: To preserve safety, legality and quality.
- Investments in farm: To keep equipment well maintained, manage waste disposal, provide training for employees, maintain a high quality and safe working environment.
- Record keeping: A milestone for implementing GLOBALG.A.P and a pre-requisite for traceability.
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