GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody: Guardian of Food Safety, Sustainability & Social Responsibility Claims

Following the announcement that GLOBALG.A.P. has launched a focus group to update the standard and plans to release a new version in the beginning of 2019, Miodrag Mitic – Head of Traceability Solutions and Senior Expert Chain of Custody (CoC) at GLOBALG.A.P. explains what it is all about.

What is Chain of Custody (CoC)?
Miodrag Mitic: CoC provides the ability to identify the supply chain actors that take legal ownership or physical control over a certified product in order to prove the traceability between a final product with the certification status claim and the certified farm of origin.
Which organizations have to be CoC certified?

Miodrag Mitic:The CoC Standard applies to anyone that buys and sells GLOBALG.A.P. certified products, for example the traders or brokers, but also bulk storage warehouses, processors, packers, distributors and service providers. The CoC is a requirement for IFA (Integrated Farm Assurance) certified producers that engage in trading with a crop that is not grown on the farm. The new version of the CoC Standard will also apply to wholesale, retail and restaurant chain sites that want to sell certified products in bulk with the GGN Label claim.

Why is CoC certification important for GLOBALG.A.P.?
Miodrag Mitic: CoC certification is the only independent assurance that consumers and business buyers have that the products purchased as GLOBALG.A.P. certified originate from certified producers. Without certification as evidence of value to consumers, no credible food safety, sustainability and social or ethical claim can exist for product attributes.

What role does the GLOBALG.A.P. Database have in CoC certification?
Miodrag Mitic: It is a critical tool that indexes all certified organizations worldwide including all their relevant product and certification information. The database functions by assigning globally unique identification numbers. The GLOBALG.A.P. Number (GGN) is assigned to each registered producer of primary agricultural products and the GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody Number (CoC) to each registered supply chain organization.
How does the development process of the new version of the CoC Standard look like?

Miodrag Mitic: We are drafting it with a team composed of subject matter experts representing retail, wholesale, agriculture, seafood, flowers and plants businesses. The new version is expected to improve the current standard based on the implementation feedback received over the last few years.