GLOBALG.A.P. introduces smart farms assurance solutions
The first implementation stage of the new smart farm assurance solutions vision was launched with the revised Integrated Farm Assurance standard version 6 and the Risk Assessment on Social Practice add-on version 2.
GLOBALG.A.P. launched the revised Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard version 6 and the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) add-on version 2. Representing the first implementation stage of the new smart farm assurance solutions vision, the new products offer streamlined, impact-driven, and connected solutions for the entire sector.
Solutions fit for the future
The concept of smart farm assurance solutions represents the framework that will underpin all GLOBALG.A.P.’s future activities and support the organizational goal of fostering the global adoption of safe, socially and environmentally responsible farming practices. It is based on four pillars that will ensure products and services are both fit for the future and easier to use for stakeholders across the supply chain.
The four pillars consist of smarter standards and add-ons, a smarter approach to sustainability, smarter systems and services, and the smarter integration of data. The first two pillars were introduced with the revised flagship standard, IFA v6, and the revised GRASP add-on v2. The latter two pillars will be deployed progressively over time as the new systems are implemented.
GLOBALG.A.P. managing director, Kristian Moeller, said that “with IFA v6, we are not just offering a revised checklist. We are hailing a new era of processes that will eventually connect all our products and services in a smarter, more intuitive, and simplified way. As the landscape changes, we must ensure that our infrastructure evolves with it. The IFA v6 update is just the first step of a new journey towards digitalized, impact-driven farm assurance solutions.”
IFA v6 driving smarter standards and add-ons
Marking the sixth version of GLOBALG.A.P.’s flagship offering, the new IFA standard is available for aquaculture from April 2022. IFA v6 takes a holistic approach to farm assurance through the key topics of food safety, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, workers’ well-being, traceability, and production processes.
GLOBALG.A.P. managing director, Elmé Coetzer-Boersma, said that “IFA v6 is GLOBALG.A.P.’s flagship standard in a new and improved format. It has a simplified structure and language, extended criteria on key issues such as sustainability and animal welfare, and – for the first time – continuous improvement at the producer level. Overall, it’s a smarter standard, fit for the future.”
Version 6, therefore, takes a new approach, introducing more rigorous sustainability requirements on greenhouse gases, ecosystem restoration, food waste, and more, as well as moving towards streamlined, customized checklists that reduce duplication and simplify the audit process at the farm level. IFA v6 also prioritizes outcomes achieved, rather than specific measures regarding meeting requirements. This provides greater flexibility as it allows producers to demonstrate compliance in different ways based on what is most appropriate for their production practices.
IFA v6 is available in two parallel editions – v6 Smart, the flagship offering, and v6 GFS for those requiring GFSI recognition.
Farm-level social management with GRASP v2
GRASP has seen increased adoption across the sector, with over 110,000 producers successfully demonstrating compliance at the close of 2021. Version 2 of the add-on tackles some of the most pressing social issues facing the global supply chain including worker exploitation, child labor, and human rights. GRASP can be assessed at the same time as the IFA audit, providing a cost-effective way for producers to demonstrate social responsibility practices and for retailers to transparently source products from operations that are aligned to their corporate social responsibility policies.
Assessment is complemented by national interpretation guidelines of local legislation to help assessors and producers understand local compliance systems. A country risk classification, developed on the basis of the Worldwide Governance Indicators issued by the World Bank, also allows flexibility in evidence methods. GRASP is applicable to all production under IFA and is available for all sizes of farms, including smallholders.
The journey ahead
GLOBALG.A.P. will be running a free smart farm assurance solutions webinar series on the updated product range. Focusing on the new versions of IFA and GRASP, the webinars will take an in-depth and scope-specific look at everything connected with the standard and add-on, including new and revised content, the two editions of IFA v6 (Smart and GFS), compliance requirements, GLOBALG.A.P. IT systems, and much more.