India Sets the Scene for GLOBALG.A.P's TOUR 2011
New Delhi, India, 2nd March 2011: Key stakeholders from retail, producers, traders and Government showed their commitment to introduce GLOBALG.A.P based standards for farm assurance in India. This was the consensus among the delegates of the kick-off event for the GLOBALG.A.P TOUR 2011, celebrated in New Delhi.
The Conference day was opened with a keynote address of Thomas Varghese, CEO of Abitya Birla Retail, who also spoke in his role as Chairman of the CII Retailer Committee. Mr Varghese called to launch education drives across India to enlighten farmers on sustainable agricultural practices which includes usage of safe pesticides, soil management, irrigation and water management, and environmental considerations. The public and the private sector should offer incentives to adopt sustainable agriculture practices.
The Indian Government supports the step-wise introduction of quality standards down to the production level and will invest in capacity building and the development of an Indian standard based on GLOBALG.A.P. production efficiencies shall be increased in medium term by establishing a sound Good Agricultural Practice in the country.
Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary (Agriculture) & Mission Director, National Horticulture Mission, India stated: „The main objective of our initiative is to involve local producers, traders and retail to improve the quality of products for the Indian consumers.“ Retailers are fully supporting this initiative. „We are committed to continuously improve the quality of Indian products offered in our shelves. We are currently working with several producer groups to establish quality and food safety standards.“ Said Mr. D.V. Ram Kumar, Vice President – Food & Consumer Durables, Spencers Retail Ltd. India.
The Quality Council of India (QCI) has the mandate from the Indian Government to work on the establishment of national and international standards such as GLOBALG.A.P in India. QCI acts as host organization of the GLOBALG.A.P National Technical Working Group in India. The group unites retailers, producer associations, government representatives and different service providers. The group has developed the National Interpretation Guideline for Version 4 of the GLOBALG.A.P Standard that will be recognized by GLOBALG.A.P in due course.
Dr. Gridhar Gyani, Secretary General, QCI commented: „This cooperation with GLOBALG.A.P will enable us to provide a customized checklist to Indian growers which is recognized globally. It will help facilitating the implementation of GLOBALG.A.P for national and international market.“
The participants welcomed the Primary Farm Assurance concept presented by GLOBALG.A.P as a stepwise approach towards full GLOBALG.A.P implementation. Several initiatives presented their approach for a step-by-step implementation of Good Agricultural Practice with their producers. Major benefit of GLOBALG.A.P implementation is that their products would be accepted in all international markets. During the afternoon it became very clear that the focus would be on strategies to introduce small producers to the concept of Good Agricultural Practice. Several speakers presented their cases and experiences in working with clusters of small producers.
Mr. Bradford Roberts commented: IFC is involved in several capacity building projects and activities. „The future challenge will be to learn from those pilots and to scale it up to reach out to mainstream production. We are committed to work on that together with all actors involved.“
After the event Kristian Moeller, Managing Director, GLOBALG.A.P summarized: “GLOBALG.A.P will continue its good cooperation with Indian partners and we are aiming to establish even closer links in the coming months. This will help facilitating the different activities between the public and private sector and to jointly develop customized concepts to approach existing challenges and explore the identified opportunities of the Indian market. At the upcoming Food Forum India 2011, held in Mumbai on 28/29 March, (www.foodforumindia.com), Thomas Varghese will chair the GLOBALG.A.P conclave, where further updates will be provided.
Mr Varghese spearheads the initiative to align the Indian food and beverage sector for farm assurance and to create a GLOBALG.A.P chapter in India. The GLOBALG.A.P TOUR 2011 is a series of 7 regional conferences, workshops and events. We will also be close to your region soon. Have a look at the official website www.tour2011.org and register for one of the events.
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.) with different product applications capable of fitting to the whole of global agriculture.
GLOBALG.A.P is a pre-farm-gate standard, which means that the certificate covers the process of the certified product from farm inputs like feed or seedlings and all the farming activities until the product leaves the farm.
GLOBALG.A.P is a business-to-business label and is therefore not directly visible to consumers.
GLOBALG.A.P certification is carried out by more than 100 independent and accredited certification bodies in more than 100 countries. It is open to all producers worldwide.
GLOBALG.A.P includes annual inspections of the producers and additional unannounced inspections.
GLOBALG.A.P consists of a set of normative documents. These documents cover the GLOBALG.A.P General Regulations, the GLOBALG.A.P Control Points and Compliance Criteria and the GLOBALG.A.P Checklist.
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