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Biosafety Protocol Certification, a new chapter for Flor Ecuador Certified

Flor Ecuador Certified has included a new chapter in its certification scheme from the “worker’s health, safety and welfare” team. "Adapted for our industry’s need to certify its biosafety protocols, this chapter helps assure that biosafety good practices are applied to take care of our workers and their welfare."

Flor Ecuador Certified®

This chapter will be part of the Flor Ecuador Certified V3.0 checklist, forming part of an updated version V3.1. "We would like your help in understanding which guidelines you consider necessary to update."

With this chapter you are allowed to issue two certificates:

  1. Certificate for Flor Ecuador Certified (approved by Agrocalidad - Ecuador’s National Plant Protection Organization - to be homologated with its BPA certification).
  2. Certificate of compliance for Biosafety Protocols.

After the audits are complete and necessary decisions are made, the certificates will be issued by the Certification Bodies. The audit methodology will be updated to include:

1. Remote audits: Remote audits are immediately accessible with the Flor Ecuador Certified System. They rely on digital communication tools such as Teams or Zoom to verify supporting documents during the certification process.

Companies that also request the Biosafety Protocol certification will need that to be completed prior to the remote Flor Ecuador Certified® audit. The Biosafety Protocol certificate uses the same template as Flor Ecuador, is also completed remotely, and is valid for one year from its date of completion.

2. Field Verification Audit: Although slight variations may exist within the official requirements of the Biosafety Protocols, auditors must complete all required processes during field verification. After the field verification audit is successfully completed, the official Flor Ecuador Certification can be issued. The field audit takes no longer than three months. Grower farms awaiting the results of the field audit will be assigned an “In Progress” status which allows the farm to remain in compliance with the BPA Certification from Agrocalidad.

The deadline to complete certifications was extended through June 2020. As a result, some companies may be eligible for free diagnostic audits from Expoflores for Biosafety Protocols. If a farm needs to certify these processes, this special service may be requested directly from the Certification Party.

The possible scenarios could be, you must meet with one of the following criteria:

1. Grower farms already certified by Flor Ecuador between September 2019 and March 2020
a. Please access the certification with a Certification Party anytime after June 15th, 2020. You will only need to update your certification to consider the new “Biosafety Protocol” chapter.

2. Growers farms with certificate extension
a. Your audit will include the new Biosafety Protocol chapter anytime after June 15th, 2020.

3. Grower farms that are not yet certified
a. All grower farms that would like to certify their protocols can do it as long as they meet the 9 mandatory requirements established in Flor Ecuador Certified checklist.
b. In this case, only the protocol will be certified.

Flor Ecuador Certified guarantees our workers’ safety and health. Due to the pandemic and the emerging situation in response to it, compliance with new biosafety measures are required in every farm to guarantee the safety of employees in each area. The prevention of new COVID-19 cases spreading is a priority. Employees should feel safe at work in order to continue producing high quality roses.

Additionally, the certification evaluates the protocols that each farm has planned and their compliance in implementing them. For example: if a farm has included among their protocols that every workers’ temperature will be taken at the entrance before entering the farm, Flor Ecuador verifies that this is actually happening. If not, this protocol goes on the nonconformity list. The disinfection of shoes at the entrance, the mandatory use of face masks, internal transportation limited to 50% of its capacity and skipping one seat, the dining room kept at 50% of its capacity with a maximum of two people per table, and obligatory hand washing with water and soap as well as with hand sanitizer with 70% of alcohol before meals and throughout the day are other protocols that may be considered. 

For more information
Flor Ecuador Certified

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