The GLOBALG.A.P. has officially been endorsed by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance certification scheme is the first product certification scheme ever to achieve official endorsement by the IAF. This will impact on more consistency and integrity for GLOBALG.A.P. Certificates issued as part of the Integrated Farm Assurance scheme around the world. The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) Code of Practice is fully benchmarked to the GlobalG.A.P. standard. In 2008, KFC was accredited “Products Certification Body” status through the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), having successfully complied with the ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 requirements.
What is the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA)?
Accreditation bodies (ABs) that are signatories to the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) are evaluated regularly by an appointed team of peers to provide confidence in the operation of their accreditation programs. The structure and scope of the IAF MLA consists of five levels:
– Level 1 specifies mandatory criteria that apply to all accreditation bodies (ISO/IEC 17011).
– The combination of a Level 2 activity(ies) and the corresponding Level 3 normative document(s) is (are) called the main scope of the MLA, which includes activities such as product certification and associated mandatory documents such as ISO/IEC 17065. The attestations/certifications made by CBs at the main scope level are considered to be equally reliable.
– The combination of Level 4 and Level 5 relevant normative documents is called a sub-scope of the MLA, which includes conformity assessment requirements such as ISO 9001 as well as, from now on, the GLOBALG.A.P. scheme specific requirements. The attestations/certifications made by CBs at the sub-scope level are considered to be equivalent.
GLOBALG.A.P. only works with those ABs that are in the IAF-MLA for product certification. To date they have 35 ABs that are recognized by GLOBALG.A.P. and that are likely to extend their scope of the IAF MLA to include the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance scheme.
The IAF MLA delivers the confidence needed for market acceptance of conformity assessment outcomes. An attestation/certification issued within the scope of the IAF MLA by a body that is accredited by an IAF MLA signatory Accreditation can be recognized worldwide, thereby facilitating international trade.
What does this mean for GLOBALG.A.P.?
From now on, the peer evaluation process will not only take into account generic product certification requirements, but also the specific GLOBALG.A.P. normative documents that are now endorsed by the IAF. This adds yet another layer of assurance that the ABs accrediting the GLOBALG.A.P. approved certification bodies (CB) are competent and knowledgeable about GLOBALG.A.P.
GLOBALG.A.P. 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.) with different product solutions that can be applied to all of global agriculture. GLOBALG.A.P. has contracts with over 130 CBs worldwide including Kenya Flower Council (KFC) , which are supervised by the ABs who have signed IAF MLAs. The GLOBALG.A.P. certification process is performed by more than 1500 inspectors and auditors. GLOBALG.A.P. delegates the responsibility of supervising its approved CBs to the corresponding IAF accreditation bodies. Ensuring supervision consistency has made the harmonization of criteria applied by the different ABs increasingly important.
GLOBALG.A.P. provides the standard and framework for independent, recognized third-party certification of farm production processes based on ISO/IEC Guide 65 or ISO/IEC 17065. GLOBALG.A.P. Certification covers the production process of the certified product, from farm inputs such as feed or seedlings and all the farming activities until the product leaves the farm.
About The International Accreditation Forum, Inc. (IAF)
The International Accreditation Forum, Inc. (IAF) details criteria for the accreditation of bodies that provide conformity assessment services, and such accreditation facilitates trade and reduces demands for multiple conformity assessment activities.
Accreditation reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring that accredited certification bodies (CBs) are competent to carry out the work they undertake within their scope of accreditation. Accreditation bodies (ABs) that are members of IAF and the CBs they accredit are required to comply with appropriate international standards and the applicable IAF application documents for the consistent application of those standards.