Cultivation schemes and GMP+ FC schemes

środa, 4 stycznia 2017

What is the role and value of cultivation certification schemes within the GMP+ Certifica-tion scheme? What requirements for the purchase of unprocessed agricultural products should I take into account? In this newsletter we are happy to provide you with an an-swer to these and other questions concerning cultivation.

What are unprocessed agricultural products?

These include grains, seeds or legumes that – except for harvest related actions – have not undergone processing steps, such as grinding, crushing or pressing.


Does cultivation of unprocessed agricultural products fall under the scope van GMP+ FC scheme?

As of 2014, the cultivation of unprocessed agricultural products (such as grains, seeds and legumes) for use in or as feed, can no longer be certified under the GMP+ FC scheme. This means that a grower cannot obtain a GMP+ certificate to demonstrate that the cultivation of – for instance – feed grain meets the GMP+ requirements. 

This is due to the curtailing of the scope of the GMP+ FC scheme. The scope of the GMP+ FC scheme covers all feed links between the cultivation and the livestock farm. Cultivation and livestock farm themselves are not part of that.

In our we informed you that the decision was made to eliminate the standard GMP+ B6 Cultivation of feed materials. This GMP+ cultivation standard was withdrawn on 31-12-2015 and is no longer updated. New certification or recertification is no longer possible. Existing certificates apply until their expiration date. This means that, at the end of 2017, all currently applicable GMP+ B6 certificates expire.


What requirements for the purchase of unprocessed agricultural products must I take into account?

a. Until 2015 there were three options:

  1. Purchasing from a GMP+ certified grower;
  2. Purchasing from a grower that participates in a cultivation scheme declared equivalent;
  3. Purchasing via the application of a gatekeeper protocol.

Due to the second and third option, participation by growers in the GMP+ B6 standard (option 1) has always been very limited. Currently, 3 GMP+ B6 growers are certified. Option 2 is mainly popular in the Netherlands and Belgium, because a number of Dutch and Belgian cultivation schemes focused on food safety, were declared equivalent. A lot of GMP+ certified companies located in the Netherlands purchase the unprocessed agricultural products from growers that participate in one of these equivalent schemes. It concerns the following schemes for cultivation of unprocessed agricultural products:

Unprocessed agricultural product

Cultivation certification scheme

Consumption potatoes straight from the growers

VVAK module Consumption potatoes

VVA Consumption potatoes certificate

Industry vegetables straight from the growers


VVAK module Industry vegetables

VIGEF Industry vegetables certificate

Grains, seeds, legumes and straw straight from the growers


VVAK module Grains, seeds and legumes (GZP)


Starch potatoes

VVAK module Starch potatoes

Sugar beets

VVAK module Sugar beets

Primary unprocessed products of vegetable origin, straight from the grower.


IKKB Standard for Primary Vegetable Production 

The grower must be included in the list of certified growers on


In other countries, such as Germany, a lot of GMP+ certified feed companies apply option 3 (gatekeeper).

b. Current requirements:

Since 2015, a GMP+ certified company can only purchase the unprocessed agricultural products from a grower via the gatekeeper option, for use in or as feed. To this end, the protocol of Annex 4 of GMP+ BA10 ‘Minimum requirements for purchasing’ must be applied. Central in this protocol is the implementation of an intensive entry check program, based on the risk assessment carried out by the participant and the quality assurance applied by the grower.

But what about the accepted cultivation schemes?

By eliminating the GMP+ B6 standard, the equivalency position of the accepted cultivation schemes has changed. In fact, there is no real equivalency anymore. There no longer is a cultivation standard in the GMP+ FC scheme and GMP+ International no longer updates the benchmark.

Of course, the above-mentioned does not mean that a cultivation certificate in the context of meeting GMP+ requirements has no value. On the contrary. In particular because a lot of cultivation schemes focus on assuring feed safety, the fact that a grower – from whom a GMP+ certified company purchases wheat for instance – is able to show a growing certificate, holds great value. This applies in particular for the cultivation schemes that were GMP+ equivalent until the end of 2014. That is why they are still mentioned in the relevant gatekeeper protocol in Annex 4 of GMP+ BA10.

In consultation with several cultivation schemes and on request of the International Expert Committee, GMP+ International is looking for a new form to give existing cultivation certification schemes a certain status, to facilitate the role of the gatekeeper. Until this new system has been implemented, the cultivation schemes referred to in Annex 4 of GMP+ BA10 cover the GMP+ requirements for the full 100%. This means that the GMP+ certified company can, as gatekeeper, purchase unprocessed agricultural products from these buyers, the same way as before.

Do you have any other questions concerning the cultivation schemes and the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme? If so, we are happy to help. Please fill out our contact form and we will answer your question as soon as possible.