GlobalGAP spearheads collaboration among certification bodies at SEG15

By

Michelle McNickle, Digital Product Manager

Published on
April 22, 2015

GlobalGAP is spearheading a collaboration plan that is allowing the certification scheme to partner with similar programs to offer farmers joint certifications. The aim of the program is to reduce duplication, push innovation and drive down audit costs for farms, said Kristian Moeller, president and CEO of GlobalGAP.

“There is differentiation needed, but with a more consistent approach,” Moeller said on day two of Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium. “[Companies] want one standard, but there are different markets. So how can we bring innovation, differentiation and strive for more together, and on the other hand, with no duplication?”

GlobalGAP launched the plan for collaboration back in February. Moeller said the approach should make it easier for producers to comply, while standard owners gain more farms that are considered safe. “We all agree on the same topic and agenda,” Moeller said. “But we thought, ‘Have we found the right model to get there? Or are we focusing on the lowest-hanging fruits while defending ourselves as commercial groups?’”

That was the approach in aquaculture, Moeller said. GlobalGAP looked at what standards could join the certification body to help reduce duplication. Two years ago at Seafood Expo Global, Moeller sat with Friend of the Sea, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) to make the partnership a viable one. At this year's event, Moeller explained how the Friend of the Sea/GlobalGAP partnership works, including a joint logo that clearly displays both certifications.

Called the Friend of the Sea Add-on module for aquaculture, the partnership has already resulted in company certification and is poised to grow. The joint certification is also bridging the B2B certification developed by GlobalGAP and the more consumer-oriented certification done by Friend of the Sea, which is key to consumers becoming more cautious about seafood traceability.

Moeller explained how the partnerships will work going forward. He included images in his talk that covered how a joint certification would look with ASC, BAP or both. For farmers, a primary standard would be determined between the three bodies. A second certification would then be considered an add-on, with an auditor looking at language for both jointly. A tertiary add-on would be available as well for a third certification body.

According to Moeller, there would be a single management system on the farm, with a self-assessment checklist. An auditor would come in who has approval of both standards and report back with two separate decisions. “[The farmer] would have two certifications but one person doing the audit and with one fee…each individual may pay the marketing fee, but not for the full audit.”

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