Food production has a very important strategy in today´s world. While half of the world is struggling with hunger, the other half want the food they produce and consume to be safe. When it comes to safe food, products that are not harmful to human health, do not contain physical, chemical and microbiological residues, but also have traceability come to mind. Producers and institutions and organizations that pack, distribute, even store and market these products have very important responsibilities in order to both develop production and sell the products we produce to the right markets. Today, traceability of agricultural products has become the most important issue in terms of ensuring food safety all over the world. Various studies have been done on this subject and are still being done. Now, the consumer wants to know the production process of the food that comes to the table. There is a concept arising from all these requirements that has influenced the entire agriculture and export sector in recent years. This concept is good agricultural practices that include minimum agricultural production criteria.
The development of modern technology in recent years has also had an impact on the agricultural sector. Overuse of production inputs caused chemical residues in agricultural products. In order to prevent the occurrence of such negativities in agriculture, evaluations under the name of Good Agricultural Practices have started to become important. The purpose of these practices is defined as the processes that should be applied to make the agricultural production system socially viable, economically profitable and efficient, protecting human health, giving importance to animal health and welfare and the environment.
Today, consumers want to be sure of the safety of all the food products they buy, especially the agricultural products they consume. For this reason, it has been inevitable to establish systems and standards in order to provide consumers with the guarantee that both direct and agricultural products are produced safely.
Good Agricultural Practices Certification Process
Certification of agricultural products according to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) conditions according to the regulations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry under Good Agricultural Practices within the scope of Good Agricultural Practices is carried out by private and independent certification bodies with the authority given by the Ministry. The entity to be audited must have a legal personality with which the producer of the Group defines itself. The group must have established and implemented a quality management system developed for good agricultural practices.
The Good Agricultural Practices Certification Standard is divided into two modules as individual certification and group certification:
* Individual Certification: Individual certification is applied to the enterprise engaged in agricultural production on agricultural lands used by real or legal persons as owner or tenant.
* Group Certification: Group certification is applied to the agricultural production enterprise on agricultural lands established under the roof of producer organizations or cooperatives, established by contract and under the use of real persons who are together as owner or tenant.
There are two signature processes in group certification, different from individual certification. In the first one, cooperatives or producer s also sign contracts with producers; In the latter, when the cooperatives apply for the ITU Certificate, they sign a contract with the certification body. In addition, enterprises that apply as a cooperative are expected to meet the Quality Management System standards. The certificate application must be made to a certification body accredited by a local or international authority. In Turkey, Good Agricultural Practices certification procedures to be accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry certification bodies are carried out. The ITU Certificate standard has been actively applied in our country since 2010. The ITU Certificate is issued in accordance with GLOBALGAP standards, which is an international inspection and surveillance system in the field of environment and food safety. The cultivation of agricultural products is not only included within the scope of the ITU Certificate. All processes up to the packaged (final) product are covered by the Good Agricultural Practices standard.
Benefits of Good Agricultural Practices
Good Agricultural Practices support the continuous development of methods and technologies related to farming, based on the principles of Hazard Prevention, Hazard Analysis (HACCP), Integrated Pest Control (IPM) and Integrated Crop Cultivation (ICM). Good Agricultural Practices cover the full production process of the certified agricultural Product from the process before the plant is planted to the processed final product. Also; It also covers Food Safety, Animal Welfare, Environmental Protection and Worker Health, Safety and Welfare. Good Agricultural Practices; It is a form of agricultural production for the purpose of producing a production that does not harm the environment, human and animal health, protecting natural resources, ensuring traceability and sustainability in agriculture and food safety. The product with Good Agricultural Practices certificate; It does not contain chemical, physical, microbiological residues, it is produced without polluting the environment and harming the natural balance; human, worker and other living creatures are not adversely affected during its production; It is understood that it is produced in accordance with the agricultural legislation of the countries where it is produced and consumed.
Good Agricultural Practices in Summary;
Benefits to Producers:
* Provides quality crop cultivation.
* It is preferred in domestic and foreign markets.
* Being ahead of other producers in equal competition conditions.
* Provides qualified agreements with retailers.
* Ensures the safety of employees in production.
Benefits to Consumers
* Reduces the risks related to food safety and human health.
* Provides traceability about the source of the product.
* Provides quality and reliability in the product.
* Demands of consumers regarding food quality and safety are met successfully.
Benefits for Retailers
* Provides qualified agreement with the manufacturer.
* Eliminates concerns about public health and product reliability.
* Increase in demand is achieved with the confidence of the consumer in the product.
* It allows the obstacles to be eliminated due to its compliance with legal regulations.
Benefits to the Exporter
* Production amount and quality losses are prevented.
* Exporters will overcome non-tariff barriers with this application.
* With the application, exporters reach wider markets.
* They earn more income due to increased demand, with the traceability of the product and the reduction of health risks.
* A sustainable production that takes responsibility for the environment, and a production aimed at the protection of natural life and biological diversity.
* It helps to reduce the harmful effects of agriculture on the environment.
* A protective management plan is implemented.
What are we doing within the scope of ITU Consultancy as EKOL Certification Firm?
* Current Situation Assessment
* Preparation of Quality Targets and Policies
* Organization chart is created.
* Providing basic trainings
* Job Descriptions and Key Personnel responsibilities
* Preparation of Procedures
* Occupational Safety and Security Practices
* Environmental Management System Applications
* Inner control
* Decision on the Certification Firm
“As EKOL Certification Firm, we are here to support and assist you in this regard. You can contact us for detailed information. "