What are good agricultural practices (GAP)?
Good agricultural practices are “practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainabilty for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products” (FAO 2003).
What are GAP codes, standards and regulations?
Good agricultural practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulations are guidelines which have been developed in recent years by the food industry, producers’ organizations, governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities.
Why do GAP codes, standards and regulations exist?
These GAP codes, programmes or standards exist because of growing concerns about food quality and safely worldwide. Their purpose varies from fulfilment of trade and government regulatory requirements, in particular with regard to food safely and quality, to more specific requirements of specially or niche markets.
Their objectives range from ensuring safely and quality of produce in the food chain; capturing new market advantages by modifying supply chain governance; improving natural resources use, workers’ health and working conditions to creating new market opportunities for farmers and exporters in developing countries.
What are the main benefits and challenges?
The benefits of GAP codes, standards and regulations are numerous, including food quality and safety improvement; facilitation of market access and reduction in non-compliance risks regarding permitted pesticides, MRLs and other contamination hazards.
The main challenges related to GAP implementation include an increase in production costs, especially record keeping, residue testing and certification, and inadequate access to information and support services.
What is GLOBALG.A.P.?
GLOBALG.A.P. is a business-to-business standard for safe and sustainable food production.
The Global G.A.P. cultivating the idea of sustainable agriculture at all levels: food safety, the environment, animal welfare and workers’ health, well-being and safety at work.
The GLOBALGAP standard requires that producers establish a complete control and monitoring system.
Products are registered and can be traced back to the specific farm unit where they were grown. GLOBALGAP rules are relatively flexible about field practices such as soil fumigation and fertilizer usage.
There are strict regulations about pesticide storage and pesticide residue limits. In addition, it is important to record and justify how the product was produced, so detailed records must be kept about farm practices.
What are the key benefits?
- Demonstrate to clients (retailers, product traders, importers) that your product is produced using good agricultural/fish farming practices
- Inspire consumer confidence Ensure access to your markets
- Enhance operating efficiency and competitive market appeal
- Implement processes for continual improvement
- Reduce the number of second party inspections to farms as more major retailers accept the scheme
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