The GlobalGAP community has expressed a desire for an auditable solution for compliance with the Produce Safety Rule of Food Safety Modernization Act regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The rule – with standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce – requires producers of fruits and vegetables to adopt minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of raw agricultural commodities for human consumption. Compliance with this rule is required of fruit and vegetable producers in the USA and around the world with USA as a destination market. Compliance dates are available here.
GlobalGAP has led a Focus Group in the development of an add-on to the Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard for Fruit & Vegetables that will complete coverage of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The add-on content is based on GlobalGAP's FSMA User's Guide and Self-Assessment published in December 2016.
GlobalGAP now seeks public consultation from interested stakeholders on the draft Control Points and Compliance Criteria and the add-on rules available here until March 13, 2018. The organization requests that attention and comments be focused on the clarity of the questions and auditability of the points, since the requirements themselves are dictated by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. It is foreseen that the final add-on will be available by May 2018.
Third-parties will audit against the GlobalGAP FSMA Add-on to serve as evidence of FSMA implementation efforts at the farm level, in keeping with the current version of the FDA Produce Safety Rule (21 C.F.R. Part 112). When accompanied by the GlobalGAP Integrated Farm Assurance certification, the FSMA Add-on will aid producers in identifying FSMA requirements that must be addressed at the farm level.
The add-on and IFA certificate then can be provided to retailers and value-chain participants as evidence of a producer’s efforts toward FSMA implementation. The add-on is not an assurance or guarantee of FSMA compliance, as legal compliance can only be determined by a regulatory authority, such as the U.S. FDA.