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July Newsletter

Farm Assurer Program: Your Way to Help 

Farmers Achieve Certification 

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Upcoming Events

 

GLOBALG.A.P. and NCSI Americas' Version 4 Fruit and Vegetables Workshop

Ft. Pierce, FL July 25-26

We will review the regulations, documentation, and audit checklist of the Version 4 standard to help you fully understand the GLOBALG.A.P. certification process for Fruit and Vegetables.  See our GLOBALG.A.P. North America Training webpage to reserve your seat today!

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GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR 2011
Atlanta, GA Oct. 17-18
GLOBALG.A.P. will be on TOUR right after PMA’s Fresh Summit to meet with stakeholders throughout the supply chain and discuss our latest tools, developments, and advances for the North American market.  For more information, please see our TOUR website.

Fruit and Vegetables Workshop
Atlanta, GA Oct. 19-20
Attending PMA's Fresh Summit?  Add a few more days on to your trip to take part in GLOBALG.AP. training!  See our Workshop page for more information. 
 
Aquaculture Workshop
Atlanta, GA Oct. 19-20
Want to learn more about our Version 4 standard?  Attend our Aquaculture Workshop to see how Version 4 is implemented and audited.  Sign up here!



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Bethesda, MD 20814
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Phone: (240) 482-4852

In this Issue: Produce Research Symposium Highlights,

Farm Assurer Program, EHEC Outbreak Updates 

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Dear Colleague,

 

Recent events, including high profile EHEC outbreaks and governmental food safety resolutions, have brought much attention to food concerns.  We would like to share with you some important information regarding these issues, and invite you to share your thoughts with us as well. 

 

Produce: I recently attended the Center for Produce Safety 2011 Produce Research Symposium in Florida with two GLOBALG.A.P. North America board members, Jorge Hernandez of U.S. Foodservice and Richard Yudin of Fyffes.  The Symposium focused on new cultivation and processing practices, maintaining irrigation and washing water quality, and other key produce safety practices.  One particularly interesting research presentation provided support for GLOBALG.A.P.'s policy of establishing regionally adapted Good Agricultural Practice guidelines for fresh produce.  The research indicated that when defining risk assessment for produce, one must take into consideration the varied populations of microorganisms based on regional factors, such as soil type and climate conditions.  

 

Livestock:  The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution on the use of antibiotics in livestock.  The Parliament citation states: “The ultimate objective is to maintain antimicrobials as an effective tool to combat disease, both in animal and in humans, while keeping the use of antimicrobials to the strictly necessary.”  There are many ongoing activities in Europe which foster the responsible use of antibiotics.  For example, please see the Yellow Card system in use in Denmark. 

 

Aquaculture: In June, The House of Representatives voted to prohibit the Food and Drug Administration from approving genetically modified salmon for human consumption. FDA experts have found the fish safe to eat, but the agency has not yet issued a full environmental assessment of what risks the engineered salmon could pose to the environment Even if the FDA approves genetically modified salmon for human consumption, it will not be possible to certify a farm under the GLOBALG.A.P. framework.  Please see Aquaculture Module AB 2.2.2 in our Control Points and Compliance Criteria to learn more. 

 

Our newsletter is a great way for our members to publicize their events.  If you have any events which would be of interest to other GLOBALG.A.P. North America members, please let us know.

  Kristian_Moeller

Best regards,

 

Kristian Moeller
President, GLOBALG.A.P. North America

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Farm Assurer Program

We are excited to introduce the Farm Assurer Program, a voluntary program whereby stakeholders can offer tactical and logistical help to farmers wanting to achieve farm certification.  Farm Assurers train farmers to meet certification levels and assist them with access to markets that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.  Farm Assurers do not, however, conduct physical certifications or issue certificates.  

 

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Through the Farm Assurer Program, stakeholder organizations can advance the depth, quality, and assurance of producer farm certification.  Stakeholders involved with the Farm Assurer Program can also become more effective advisers in the farming community and form networks with other Farm Assurers in order to improve overall certification capacity.

 

To become a Farm Assurer or to learn more about the program, please contact us.  


EHEC Outbreak Updates

The World Health Organization reported that approximately 3,255 people have fallen ill in Europe, the United States, and Canada from the EHEC outbreak.  Germany’s national disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), recently reported that the death toll had reached 35 people.  
 
Many producers have been badly hit by the outbreak, particularly Spanish cucumber producers who were initially blamed for the EHEC spread.  The European Commission has offered 210 million euros ($303 million) to help those farmers affected by the outbreak.
 
Chief Global Quality Officer of ConAgra Foods, Joan Menke-Schaenzer, a GLOBALG.A.P. member, wrote the following about our response to the EHEC outbreak: 
 
“Hats off to GLOBALG.A.P.!  We applaud the leadership position GLOBALG.A.P. took in the temporary suspension of their certificates to sprout growers.  The unfortunate and tragic outbreak in Germany highlighted that the current food safety systems and practices in sprout production (from seed to table) may not be adequate.  A clear message was sent by GLOBALG.A.P.  that the science and practices around growing sprouts needed to be revisited.  The call out for updated risk assessments along with new Critical Control areas is the right thing to do.”
 
 
The Food Safety Modernization Act has new guidelines in place to ensure that imported foods meet US standards and are safe for US consumers.  The FDA has a docket open for public comment until August 3, 2011 regarding imported food guidelines.  If you would like to have a role in federal decision making, please click here.   
 
Related North American News: There was a multistate outbreak of Salmonella in the U.S. in June.  Epidemiological investigations by local, state and federal public health agencies linked the outbreak to sprouts grown by Evergreen Produce in Moyie, Idaho.  While the grower refused to recall its sprouts, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both issued consumer advisories warning people not to eat the company’s sprouts. 





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GLOBALG.A.P. North America
4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814
United States

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