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The necessity of GAP/GHP Audits in the Agricultural sector

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are the audits that verify that agricultural commodities such as fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.

Food safety hazards can be occurred at different stages of the food chain starting from primary production and then extending to secondary and tertiary processing, storage and distribution, and packaging. Therefore, it is important to address food safety starting from the farm level itself. Implementation of good practices during on-farm production and post-production processes is of great importance for ensuring a safe and healthy food supply. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), as defined by FAO, are a “collection of principles to apply for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food and non-food agriculture products, while taking into account economic, social and environmental sustainability”.

The primary goal of the GAP audits is to provide logical guidance in implementing best crop management practices that will help by preventing the contamination in fruits and vegetables. GAPs mainly include worker/farmer’s hygiene and health, water quality, soil quality and manure use throughout the production and harvesting process.

In order to participate in global supply chains and national or international trade, it is necessary that the produce quality complies with the applicable Food Safety Manual. A Food safety manual is a document that covers all the aspects of the growing and handling processes, based on which it evaluates the potential source of risk. The manual guides that what all steps and procedures are supposed to be followed by the operator in the field, to minimize the risk of contamination by chemical, physical, or microbial hazards.

Without the correct auditing of the produce, market access is severely compromised. For the customers, and end consumers, Audits, Certification and Compliance, and Permits signify the safety and sustainability of the produce, and therefore it can’t be compromised at any cost. For various Growers and Farmers, achieving GAP/GHP logo after passing the audits, will deliver many advantages, such as:

 

  • Enhanced food safety management systems on their farm
  • Demonstrable commitment to produce and trade safe food into the global Agri-market
  • Increased consumer and customer confidence in the produce safety and quality

 

With the vision of accelerating and enhancing the way certifications and compliance works in Agri-domain, Agrometrics has come up with AgCert® as one of the modules of its efarm suite that will provide a one-stop solution for all the Agri-related certifications and compliances. AgCert® deals with:

  1. GAP/GHP Audits
  2. Organic Certification
  3. Seed Certification
  4. Regulatory Compliance
  5. Sustainability Regulations
  6. Route Permits

AgCert® provides a secure cloud environment for planning, tracking, auditing, and reporting on various Agri-domain related certifications in accordance with region-wise compliances and regulations. It provides one place to store all the required documentation and makes the certification process easy. Our design system can meet the compliance and regulation needs without strenuous work and burden.

Through AgCert®, Agrometrics aims as reinventing the way certification and compliance procedures work in the agricultural sector by:

  • Digitizing the entire process
  • Eliminating the strenuous paperwork
  • Eliminating human error
  • Reduced time and resources
  • Data Security

Many importing countries as well as domestic buyers, especially organized retailers, are now demanding producers to implement GAP as a prerequisite for procurement in order to ensure the quality and safety of their produce, because of which there is now a greater focus on implementing such systems and AgCert® being the first web-based application, would provide a seamless experience for all such agricultural certifications and compliance.

WRITTEN BY

Harshita Srivastava,

Product Manager at Agrometrics

Harshita Srivastava is a Product Manager at Agrometrics. She has 2+ years of Product Management experience. She has previous experience of building voice applications for Amazon Alexa and currently contributing towards building SaaS products for the agriculture sector at Agrometrics, primarily working on Automating & Digitizing the certification and compliance processes in the Agriculture domain. You can find Harshita Srivastava on LinkedIn

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