The GMP+ Feed Certification scheme is a worldwide scheme. But it would be an illusion to think that the implementation of a scheme – or feed safety management in general – is the same everywhere in the world. There are regional and cultural differences, also in terms of production methods and conditions, that we need to keep in mind.
Johan den Hartog
Managing Director, GMP+ International
In March, we launched the updated GMP+ Feed Certification scheme. The revision entailed a number of changes. One of the most important was the switch to a more targeted scheme. That means that although the standards for safe feed (‘what’) are set, companies are given greater freedom in the manner in which they meet those standards (‘how’).
We took this decision in order to further improve the scheme’s applicability in practice. The great majority of companies have sufficient knowledge and experience to make responsible choices themselves with regard to their feed safety management systems – as long as the desired results are achieved. We have practical tips for companies; not as a requirement, but as a guide.
This new approach also offers more space for regional and cultural nuances. As our scheme grew beyond Western Europe towards a more global coverage, it became increasingly clear that the approach varies depending on the country, region and culture.
Sometimes that represents an obstacle, other times it provides a window to a new idea. In any case, differences are a fact of life. They are simply something we have to deal with. And if we can offer more space for that without compromising feed safety, there is no reason not to do so.
Certainly if in particular regions the number of available certified suppliers is limited, we can for example offer a temporary option of acting as a gatekeeper in buying products from non-certified companies.
We have also extended this approach to our knowledge-sharing. We are currently busy updating our GMP+ Academy. We will be offering a number of basic e-learning modules internationally. These do need to be adapted to the local situation in different regions. For this reason, we are entering into partnerships with training institutes on different continents, who can offer courses better tailored to their regions. In this way, we want to move towards training modules that better match the local situation, culture and language.
I am keen to share with you what I observe worldwide. Once businesses start working with GMP+ FSA and feed safety management, the dedication, mindset and passion is comparable everywhere. Why? Because as a global GMP+ community, we share the same goal. There will always be differences, which is a good thing too, because that way we will continue to learn from each other. But there is no doubt about the ultimate objective: feed safety speaks the same language everywhere.