GMP+ International in 2018: five things we’re thankful for

Friday, December 21, 2018

Singer Andy Williams famously dubbed the holidays ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. But as far as GMP+ International is concerned, the entire year 2018 has been just as wonderful. With Christmas and New Year quickly approaching, I would like to take the time to look back at 2018 and tell you about the five things I’m most thankful for.

Blog 6 - GMP+ International: End of the year blog

Johan den Hartog
Managing Director, GMP+ International

1. Continued growth

In 2018, we further solidified our position as the world’s largest feed safety scheme. By adding to the number of GMP+ FSA certificates (now approaching 20,000 in total), the worldwide feed production chain is now – yet again – safer than one year ago. Of that, I am proud. What makes me even more optimistic about the future, is the fact that growth was achieved in regions that previously had a relatively lower number of GMP+ FSA certified companies. We see increasing interest in Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia (Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Thailand in particular) and Brazil. Also, there are promising developments in the Middle East, Morocco and Spain. In the end, it’s not about the numbers. But if the numbers tell a story of a growing feed safety awareness worldwide, then we can thankfully conclude we’re on the right path on our journey toward Feed Safety Worldwide.

2. Poland has turned the corner

As we conclude 2018, almost 2,800 companies in Poland are certified for GMP+ FSA. This is almost tenfold (!) the number of Polish companies that were certified ten years ago. Companies from all parts of the chain are joining in record numbers. Today, about 90 percent of the compound feed industry in Poland is now GMP+ FSA certified, while the supply chain is also fully involved. Poland has truly embraced feed safety. In that, we take great pride! To read my previous blog post about Poland, please click here.

3. New website and communication tools

To further improve communication with our GMP+ community, this year we launched our redesigned website, logo, and communication tools. Also, we introduced a new CRM system that has digitalized information, automized operations and optimized communication with our Certification Bodies. With these changes, we have significantly improved our service levels for all stakeholders.

4. Registered Laboratories Program

Reliable laboratory analyses are crucial for a strong and trustworthy feed safety chain. Therefore, in 2018 we completed the GMP+ standard for laboratories and decided to launch the Registered Laboratories program. Starting July 1, 2019, laboratories that analyze critical contaminants for GMP+ FSA certified companies are to be GMP+ registered. The main requirement, besides a professional quality management system, is compliance with minimum performance criteria. This was not an easy decision, since we are asking laboratories to undergo an audit and pay a fee. Yet we firmly believe this is a crucial step in order to further strengthen the feed chain. Since the launch of the program, we have approved registration of several high-profile laboratories from different countries and continents. Right now, we still have more than 70 applicant laboratories from all continents. I am thankful for the understanding, the cooperation, and this shared dedication to feed safety.

5. New GMO-Controlled standard

In collaboration with Germany-based VLOG (Verein Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik), last summer GMP+ International launched a new standard for GMP+ Feed Responsibility Assurance (FRA): GMO-Controlled feed standard. This September, the first company received its GMP+ FRA GMO-Controlled certificate, and other companies soon followed. With the addition of this new scope, GMP+ FRA is now truly an all-around add-on certificate for GMP+ FSA certified companies that work responsibly with regard to people and planet. It was a wonderful year indeed. I am most thankful for the joint efforts of many people and companies in our GMP+ Community, all committed to feed safety assurance. I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you in 2019.