Following years of preparation, we will be launching the updated GMP+ Feed Certification scheme on 1 March. The new scheme has been designed to be more accessible and give companies more scope for individual interpretation.
Johan den Hartog
Managing Director, GMP+ International
Since the initial launch in 1992, the certification scheme has always been 'of, for and by' the animal feed sector. After various incidents in the Netherlands, the sector itself took the initiative for ‘GMP’, which in the following decades developed to become a versatile, globally recognised scheme. In those thirty years, we have continuously adapted it based on experiences and incidents. Some 19,000 companies in 87 countries around the world are GMP+ FSA certified.
In recent years, the industry has written the next chapter in its history. The many changes have sometimes had the effect of making the scheme less transparent. GMP+ International, certified companies and stakeholders have therefore joined forces for a thorough review of the scheme.
With a clear and accessible format, we have reduced our scheme to its core in a way that is also internationally comprehensible. By making these changes and basing the scheme on ISO22000, we have also increased the accessibility of the scheme to companies outside Northwest Europe.
Following approval by the European Accreditation Council, we will be launching the new scheme on 1 March. That date also marks the start of a three-year transition period, during which the old and new schemes will co-exist.
After many brainstorming, writing and feedback sessions, we have managed to make the scheme more understandable, practical and concise. The new scheme formulates the objectives and gives companies more freedom in how they achieve them. In practice, this means that more room is provided for the local or company-specific context.
We advise all certified companies to read the new scheme carefully. Essentially, the new scheme requires relatively few adjustments. The quality manual can remain largely unchanged.
The intensive process that has preceded this change has shown me once again that we have a very capable and motivated community. All the participants in the brainstorming and evaluation sessions from the business community deserve a big compliment, as do all my colleagues at GMP+ International. It is precisely that intrinsic motivation and dedication which is the basis of feed safety. ‘Together' is one of our core values, and in my opinion provides a good basis for presenting a widely supported result.
Just like in 1992 – and all the smaller revisions since then – this new scheme is the result of collaboration and a sense of responsibility. That bodes well for the future.