Food Safety Certification
as a basis for entering the European market
GLOBAL G.A.P. has become the certification standard while required maximum residue levels (MRLs) are often stricter than the legal limits. It seems that buyers nowadays are as concerned with certification as with the product itself. In addition, experienced buyers resent that more and more fresh vegetable professionals are entering the business tend to focus too much on paperwork but lack actual product knowledge. All in all, the prominence of certifications, standards, and paperwork, in general, is a reality that every player in the trade must face and which only tends to intensify with the dominance of large retail chains.
The paper trail and the strict requirements are a challenge for every producer, exporter, and importer. But, at the same time, if applied well, they can significantly improve their competitive position.
Although food safety certification is not obligatory under European legislation, it has become a must for almost all European food importers. Most established European importers will not work with them if you cannot provide a specific food safety certification proof as to the basis for cooperation.
The majority of European buyers will ask for Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification. For fruit and vegetable processors and traders, the most popular certification programs are:
International Featured Standards (IFS)
British Retail Consortium Global Standards (BRCGS)
Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000)
GlobalGAP certification for producers/farmers
IAZ is inviting the well-established international and local quality assurance companies to participate in the IAZ Invitation for Expression of Interest and consider the possibility to provide services not only to the 93 potential IAZ Greenhouse Cluster project development site occupiers but also to the thousands of small and medium-scale farmers and cooperatives, located in the Imereti Region, and Georgia in general.