Over the past years, the floriculture sector has seen increasing certification requirements, with growers under pressure to improve their production processes and become more transparent. The GLOBALG.A.P. portfolio of certification solutions has rapidly evolved to meet these demands.
Growing under pressure
Much of the drive for improvements to floriculture production practices can be attributed to the efforts of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI). With their 2025 ambition for “responsible production and trade, responsible conduct, and integrated reporting”, the FSI sets clear goals for the industry as a whole.
Adding to this pressure from within the industry, changing consumer behavior is also driving the process forward. Now more than ever, consumers are alert to issues such as the use of pesticides, environmental protection measures, and the welfare of farm workers. In response, they are becoming more conscious with their buying habits.
Together, the market is demanding a transparent supply chain of responsibly farmed products.
How can producers ensure they are on a path to success in the changing landscape?
Being able to prove that a production process is responsible – both in terms of the environment and social practices – is key to securing market access and ultimately, a sustainable business. Standards ensure that growers know which criteria they must fulfill to run responsible production processes and enable buyers to choose suppliers that fulfil their criteria simply by checking for a single certificate.
The GLOBALG.A.P. brand of farm assurance solutions offers the most complete set of certification options in the market. Together, these solutions can add value to floriculture businesses around the world.
What exactly can GLOBALG.A.P. offer?
The GLOBALG.A.P. portfolio of solutions includes a variety of options for the industry which can be mixed and matched depending on the desired level of farm assurance. These include: Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) for flowers and ornamentals: The foundation of GLOBALG.A.P. farm assurance; a holistic standard focusing on production processes, management and traceability, workers’ health and safety, and environmental sustainability. Impact-Driven Approach to Sustainability: A system to collect, process, and store environmental sustainability data in order to monitor and manage performance improvements. GGN label: A consumer label for promoting responsible farming and transparency, communicating consumers about responsibility and integrity.
Zooming in on IFA
The IFA standard for flowers and ornamentals began its journey in 2003. Since then, it has undergone multiple revisions and the industry is poised for the publication of IFA v6 in April 2022. IFA v6 is born out of a comprehensive consultation process, with all supply chain stakeholders invited to submit both written feedback and participate in online roundtables through the World Consultation Tour in 2020–2021. This new version of IFA is therefore created for the industry, by the industry.
The IFA standard helps growers assess and improve their floriculture practices through a checklist of principles and matching criteria. Audits are carried out by independent certification bodies, with a successful audit resulting in certification valid for one year. Key focus points include enhanced
traceability, improved production processes, workers’ health, safety, and welfare, and environmental sustainability. Through a total of 153 principles, aspects of responsible farming are covered in a holistic approach.
IDA: The new kid on the block
The Impact-Driven Approach to Sustainability is one of the newer assessment options in the industry. Developed in response to industry need for capturing digitalized environmental metrics, the solution was launched in 2020. Producers submit their input consumption data through a farm management system. This data is then shared with GLOBALG.A.P. and contributes to a pool of data which is analyzed and anonymized before being returned to producers. Using this information, farms can identify their weak spots in relation to comparable farms and create improvement plans.
The GGN label – for supply chain transparency
Flowers and ornamental products that originate from farms with IFA certified production processes or an equivalent benchmarked scheme and a fully compliant GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practices (GRASP) can be labeled with the GGN label – a simple, cost-effective consumer label initiative.
The GGN label is not only applicable to flowers and plants, but also farmed seafood and fruit and vegetables, meaning that consumers have consistent, relevant assurance and orientation throughout the store. Thanks to the unique ID number on each product (a GGN), consumers can also track their product back to its roots using the GGN label portal (ggn.org).
The label helps foster trust in brands by enhancing transparency and drawing consumer attention to responsible farming practices.
How the solutions work in tandem
The entire portfolio of flexible solutions can be combined as required. Thanks to GLOBALG.A.P.’s commitment to offering a choice of independent certification bodies, producers are able to select their preferred option and compare fees.