Mutual transparency

Transparency is essential to feed safety and sustainability, not just for companies, but also for standard setters like us. Confidence in the feed system helps keep people and animals safe, and makes a more sustainable industry. Transparency is a core building block of this confidence; it helps earn credibility in the world.

At GMP+ International, we treat transparency as an important part of our work. We ensure our scheme documents, finances and performance, policies, and the details of our governance and ownership are all publicly available.

And we believe the same should be true of our approach to mutual recognition.

Equivalent schemes

The system of mutual recognition allows us to recognise another feed scheme as equivalent to our own, meaning a GMP+ certified company can buy or sell with a company certified under a similar scheme. It removes unnecessary barriers to competition, and supports forward-thinking companies who comply with standards to trade and grow.

Mutual recognition is arranged one on one between individual schemes, though all mutually recognised schemes meet once a year to share insights.

Today the discussion is focusing on whether we as scheme owners should set shared minimum requirements for mutual recognition. It would represent an important step for the feed system that has emerged over the past thirty years, and reinforce our collective credibility.

A shared baseline

Shared minimum requirements would not mean that all standards do the same, only that we all promise to exceed the same threshold. It could include things like good governance and management practices, regular checks on Certification Bodies, and agreed principles for monitoring, handling nonconformities, or sanctions. Well-constructed minimum requirements not only establish a baseline, but also encourage innovation, and protect the reputation of the schemes who sign up.

But a crucial component is transparency – of both the minimum requirements themselves, and from the schemes involved. We believe it important that scheme all make their credentials and details available on their websites for all to see.

Transparency helps keep ourselves, and each other, credible.   It will help reassure that minimum requirements are being exceeded for all schemes with mutual recognition.

The good news is that we have started these discussions now. When they come to fruition it will help companies distinguish between the different schemes with confidence that minimum requirements are being met, and help the wider world to understand the industry’s hard work to embed safe and sustainable feed practices.

Transparency is at the core of our shared credibility. We should be proud of the shared progress we have made in the last few decades, and we should continue in the same spirit; openly and transparently.