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With over 200,000 certified farms under its umbrella, GlobalG.A.P. is one of the world’s most widely implemented implemented certification programmes for agricultural facilities. The CPO began in the late 1990s as EurepGAP, but changed its name in 2007 in keeping with its expanding presence on the global stage. GFSI recognition helps GlobalG.A.P. and its fellow benchmarked CPOs maintain and enhance that international presence.

Today on the GFSI Experts Series, we catch up with Kristian Moeller, the CEO of GlobalG.A.P. Our interview took place soon after Kristian spoke in the dedicated CPO session at the 2019 GFSI Conference in Nice. Titled “The CPO Perspective — If We Ran the World,” this session gave the floor to a panel of representatives from GFSI-recognised CPOs, who discussed common issues and ways to evolve the field of certification. Hear Kristian’s key takeaways from the session on GFSI Youtube, or read the transcript below.

Can you introduce yourself and your role at GlobalG.A.P.?

Kristian Moeller:Hello, I’m Kristian Moeller. I’m the CEO of GlobalG.A.P. We are one of the benchmarked CPOs with GFSI.

What makes GlobalG.A.P. unique?

Kristian:What makes us unique? We are a global standard, but we focus solely on Good Agricultural Practices; basically, the farming of fruits and the farming of cereals. But also we work in livestock and aquaculture and the packing of fruit. That’s our scope. Food safety is our core, but we do have an integrated farm assurance standard, which brings the holistic approach to the farm. We’re a little bit about the environment, a little bit about social accountability, worker health and safety. That rounds it out. So it’s a one-stop shop for farmers worldwide.

One of our strengths is to integrate very small farmers. We have group certification. These groups make over 60% of all our 200,000 farms currently under certification. So we really bring food safety development, but we also bring safety and security within the supply chain. That’s what our retailers, our members and our producers love.

What did you discuss at the CPO Session at the GFSI Conference?

Kristian: I just came out of the CPO session: If We Ran the World. You know, CPO was the first question we asked the audience about in the session. CPO stands for Certification Programme Owner. Many know them as certification schemes. Now we are calling them CPOs. And the main thing we wanted to show in that session — I think it went very well — is to share with the audience what is actually on the mind of CPOs.

I mean, do we run the show? Because we are responsible for issuing certificates, we’re responsible for finding auditors, we’re responsible for actually building the bridge between the users of a standard; to engage them, and also to keep consistency and integrity. We are benchmarked with GFSI. That brings us all together. But why are there more than one? Why are there now 11 CPOs? That was one of the questions. What makes them different, and what is actually their common problem?

What are some of those common problems?

Kristian: One of those [issues] was how to find new auditors. Auditor competence seems to be a really challenging issue, because it’s the trust element in the situation of standards and certification. How do we find new auditors, and then retain them, keep them excited about auditing as such?

In that sense, we heard a few comments that showed that it is really a problem. We’re having still many audits. We do not have enough auditors. But is there a new technology that can help us? What about virtual reality? We discussed if we could have remote audits, with something like Google Glass, with virtual reality. Or with a drone, and a more instant, data-driven audit.

The whole session was very interactive, and people shared their views. In the end, I think it was important to show — and that session made very clear — that all the CPOs collaboratively wanted to work together to improve certification processes, to promote it and to build trust under the umbrella of GFSI, where we want to grow food safety worldwide. That really was a great session.

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To learn more about CPOs, their shared issues and their joint efforts to provide safe food for consumers everywhere, watch our previous interviews with representatives from CanadaGAP, FSSC 22000 and GAA, and don’t miss our upcoming episodes featuring IFS and SQF. Follow #GFSIexperts on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn and subscribe to GFSI News to make sure you do not miss an episode!

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