AIC, GMP+ International, OVOCOM and QS are currently working to achieve harmonized purchase requirements. In the framework of this project, differences in mutual recognition agreements with, or acceptance of, other schemes are also being compared, with the aim to harmonize as much as possible as they have an influence on the necessary gate-keeping options of the schemes.
As part of this process, discussions about the acceptance of the standard ‘Charte Securite Alimentaire - Good Trading Practice’ (CSA-GTP), which mainly certifies French collectors of grains, are ongoing.
Until now, both OVOCOM and GMP+ International unilaterally accepted CSA-GTP certified suppliers, but the AIC schemes (UK) and the QS scheme (Germany) have no acceptance of, nor mutual recognition with CSA-GTP.
OVOCOM has performed a detailed benchmark exercise with the CSA-GTP standard and had several bilateral meetings with CSA-GTP over the last couple of years. Based on this benchmark, discussions regarding a possible mutual recognition agreement with CSA-GTP have been initiated by AIC, GMP+, OVOCOM and QS. Several points for improvement have been identified, for example the application of a HACCP based product monitoring at collection level. All these schemes have expressed their intention to consider a mutual recognition agreement with CSA-GTP on the condition that CSA-GTP put forward a concrete action plan by the end of 2016, the implementation of which has to be completed by 30/06/2017.
At the end of 2016, the CSA-GTP scheme owners, have shared a Plan of Action, aimed to meet the concerns of AIC, GMP+, OVOCOM and QS and to create a base for mutual recognition. Approval of CSA-GTP certification in GMP+ and OVOCOM after 30/06/2017 will only be possible when there is an agreement of mutual recognition with all the schemes, based on a sufficient level of equivalence.