It is one of the biggest challenges of a worldwide feed safety scheme: maintaining uniform standards although countries and regions often differ enormously from one another. In order to maintain awareness of cultural differences, subtleties and specific challenges, we make use of regional task forces. The latest one has been put together for the Danube region, a region where GMP+ FSA certification is on the increase.
Roland van der Post
Managing Director, GMP+ International
The GMP+ Feed Certification scheme has always been of, for and by the sector. As such, our partners (such as industry associations and Certification Bodies) also have a role in our decision-making process. For instance, we have various international expert committees who advise us on changes to the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme.
Even so, it would be an illusion to think that this setup means we never lose sight of anything. Every region, every country, even every business has its own, unique challenges. In practice, that sometimes creates tensions with the uniform standards of the scheme. For instance, it may be that national legislation or regulations place different emphases than the GMP+ FSA requirements. It is understandable that this sometimes prompts questions from businesses and Certification Bodies.
Because we want to have a clear idea of the issues at regional level, we have created task forces. Task forces consist of representatives of business, consultants and certification bodies from a particular region and give us an insight into region-specific challenges. Among others, we have task forces for Spain, Brazil, Italy and Poland, and now also for the Danube region. With these task forces, we want to establish a bridge between the GMP+ FSA requirements and local challenges.
In tandem with the growth of GMP+ FSA certified firms in this region, we are also seeing an increase in the number of questions about the applicability of the scheme in the local context. For example, in terms of monitoring and sampling of cleaning in the transport sector. How do we reconcile local legislation with the HACCP approach of our scheme? What does that mean in practice? What do we expect of companies?
The task force offers us the opportunity to bring together regional parties, to benefit from the expertise available on the ground and keep a finger on the pulse in individual regions. The intention is not that there should be separate rules or exceptions for different regions. However, task forces enable us to explain the scheme and so optimise its practicality and feasibility worldwide.
By putting our heads together now and again and listening to each other, we can inform and inspire each other and mitigate problems. In this way, we are continuing to build a scheme that works for everyone without compromising on feed safety.