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SwissGAP Fruit and Vegetables Successfully Benchmarked against EurepGAP

11-22-2006 02:49 PM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: Foodplus GmbH

SwissGAP Fruit, Vegetables and Potatoes has successfully finalized the benchmark procedure with EurepGAP.

Over 8,000 producers of fruit, vegetables, potatoes, flower and plants are member of SwissGAP covering the major part of these products within the Swiss market.

SwissGAP includes all the EurepGAP as well as the national legal requirements for the other major Swiss programs such as water protection, ecological activities, etc.

SwissGAP makes it possible for the farmers to have a one stop control at production level and uses a single centralized database, together with the other market partners.

SwissGAP has been developed as a joint venture between the different organizations of producers, packers, importers and retailers active in the Swiss market.

The SwissGAP certification scheme for flowers and plants is expected to achieve the same recognition in due course.

For more information about SwissGAP, visit: http://www.swissgap.ch/

Claudia Meifert

Public Relations/Website Administrator
EUREPGAP c/o FoodPLUS GmbH
Spichernstr. 55, 50672 Koeln (Cologne), Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 2 21-5 79 93-82, Fax: -89
www.eurepgap.org - mailto:meifert@foodplus.org
The Global Partnership for Safe and Sustainable Agriculture

The EurepGAP standard is primarily designed to maintain consumer confidence in food quality and food safety. Other important goals are to minimize detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, optimize the use of inputs and to ensure a responsible approach to worker health and safety.

EurepGAP started in 1997 as an initiative by retailers belonging to the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP). British retailers in conjunction with supermarkets in continental Europe were the driving forces. They reacted on growing concerns by the consumers with product safety, environmental and labor standards and decided to take more responsibility for what happened in the supply chain. On the other side the development of common certification standards were also in the interest of many producers. Those with contractual relations to several retailers complained that they had to undergo multiple audits against different criteria every year. On this background EUREP started to work on harmonized standards and procedures for the development of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in conventional agriculture.

EurepGAP members include retailers, producers/farmers and associate members from the input and service side of agriculture. Governance is by a Board which is chaired by an independent Chairperson. The Board also agrees on the activity plan of the organisation. Sector Committees discuss and decide upon product and sector specific issues. All committees have 50% retailer and 50% producer/supplier representation and hereby creating an efficient partnership. The work of the Committees is supported by FoodPLUS, a not for profit limited company based in Cologne, Germany, fulfilling a secretariat function for EurepGAP.

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