The day was opened by GLOBALG.A.P Chairman Nigel Garbutt who informed the participants about the status of GLOBALG.A.P implementation worldwide and how supporting an approach of „Thinking Global but Acting Local“ was a key pillar of the organization’
National and regional retailers are now beginning to align their local sourcing activities to global benchmarks. Especially GLOBALG.A.P`
Garbutt added „Once on the path towards safe and sustainable agriculture, it is much easier for each farmer or grower to respond to additional requirements that may be required to supply different global markets“.
South Africa has a long tradition in participating in all existing platforms of GLOBALG.A.P with active and frequent involvement in GLOBALG.A.P`
During the day it became clear that GLOBALG.A.P is on the right track by strengthening its NTWGs in the region by supporting them in communication and training activities for local producers including those smaller emerging producers who are building up to supply the growing national domestic markets. Garbutt added: „The feedback and requirements from the NTWGs will be incorporated much more into the other GLOBALG.A.P committees including the GLOBALG.A.P Board so we can facilitate capacity building at farmer level.“
It was also discussed how the GLOBALG.A.P Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP Program) will in future be coordinated closely with the Fruit South Africa Social Standard Programme. GRASP helps building awareness on social issues and can be carried out at the same time as a GLOBALG.A.P audit but does not form part of the certification requirements. It provides a complimentary approach to social auditing intitiatives with helpful tools to identify risks and areas for improvement whilst being a cost effective solution for the global primary agricultural sector.
In the coming months GLOBALG.A.P will also customize its range of training courses more to local needs and will work with the NTWGs and the National Public Authorities to build capacity for good agricultural practice particularly amongst the emerging producers.
It was also agreed that learning points from the GLOBALG.A.P Integrity Program will be shared with the NTWGs and other GLOBALG.A.P committees to improve implementation of the standard in the region.
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GLOBALG.A.P is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. The aim is to establish ONE standard for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.).