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The Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA) got recognition from the Global Partnership for Safe and Sustainable Agriculture (Global GAP) for its adherence to a high standard code of practice in floriculture production.
Global GAP applauded EHPEA upon the successful recognition of its Code for Sustainable Flower Production Silver level version 4.0 as an acceptable trade practice of international standard. Global GAP announced in a statement, that the EHPEA Code for Sustainable Flower Production Silver level version 4.0 is successfully recognized as an equivalent of a GLOBAL GAP certificate.
Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director of EHPEA, told Capital that EHPEA and Global GAP have been working for a year to conclude the recognition process.
According to EHPEA, the letter signed by Dr. Kristian Moeller, Global GAP Managing Director, declared that EHPEA has the right to contract Certification Bodies (CBs) that have achieved indicated ISO accreditation.
Gebremichael Habte, Fresh Produce Business Expert, told Capital that the new recognition will minimize the cost of certification that was paid to foreign certification companies. “Now local producers do not need to obtain additional certification from abroad certification bodies to sell their product in European markets,” he added.
The recognition given by Global GAP holds as long as the conditions that dictate the Silver level version 4.0 production procedures remain unchanged.
Gebremichael advised that producers should make the best use of this opportunity to supply their product for European retail markets directly. According to the expert, the agreement will also insist local certification companies to expand their capacity.
Global GAP’s roots began in 1997 as EuroGAP, an initiative by retailers belonging to the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group.
British retailers working together with supermarkets in continental Europe become aware of consumers’ growing concerns regarding product safety, environmental impact and the health, safety and welfare of workers and animals.
To reflect both its global reach and its goal of becoming the leading international G.A.P. standard, EuroGAP changed its name to Global GAP in 2007.
Their solution to the product safety question led to harmonize their own standards and procedures and develop an independent certification system for Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).
The standards helped producers comply with Europe-wide accepted criteria for food safety, sustainable production methods, worker and animal welfare, and responsible use of water, compound feed and plant propagation materials.
Harmonized certification also meant savings for producers, as they would no longer need to undergo several audits against different criteria every year.