New IFA Version Nears the Finish Line

IFA version 6: What’s it all about?
Over the last two years, GLOBALG.A.P. has been coordinating the revision of its flagship Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard. At the beginning of the process, GLOBALG.A.P. outlined three key aims for the new IFA version 6 standard: simplification, a risk-based approach, and customized checklists. We’re on track to achieve all three of these aims!

A brief recap
First, the technical committees and focus groups evaluated the current version (v5) and approved structural changes to simplify the standard. Two public consultation periods then took place, during which all stakeholders were invited to review the latest drafts of the new standard. We received over 2,500 comments on the draft documents from nearly 700 stakeholders! The newly revised documents then entered a third public consultation and field trials phase, in which the standard was tested on the ground.

The latest news
So far, all drafts of the IFA v6 standard were written so as to accommodate GFSI recognition. During the third public consultation phase, however, we received strong stakeholder feedback from our fruit and vegetable community that many elements of the latest IFA standard draft were still too prescriptive and did not suit the needs of the majority – i.e., those who do not need GFSI recognition.

We have therefore decided that we will now offer two parallel editions of the IFA v6 standard: one which is adapted to the requirements for GFSI recognition (based on the draft from the third public consultation) and a new edition put forward by our technical committees which uses a simplified, risk-based, outcome-oriented approach and is suitable for the majority of producers.

Since this decision will have wide-reaching impact, a draft of the new, alternative edition of the IFA v6 standard for Fruit and Vegetables (not applicable for GFSI recognition) will undergo an extra public consultation period from 23 August to 17 September. Information on participating in this consultation period will be published on this page.

What are the next steps?
Following the final consultation period, the two IFA standard editions will need to be approved by the technical committees before they are submitted to the GLOBALG.A.P. Advisory Board for approval in October 2021.