Consumers have become more conscious of what they consume. They expect the fruits that they buy to adhere to high ethical, ecological, and social standards. When buying fruits either from the supermarkets or local groceries, consumers have been asking questions such as: Are the fruits safe for me and the family? Are they of high quality and produced healthily? Are the process justified or worth it? What disease and pest control mechanisms are employed especially when using chemical control?
Europe and Asia provide the largest markets for Kenyan fruits. Poor-quality produce can have negatively impact the reputation of the grower, exporter, and processor. Once an exporter, company, or grower gets a bad reputation, retaining the customers and stakeholders becomes challenging. For instance, when South Africa suspected that avocados in Kenya were produced in areas prone to fruit flies, they closed the market. Regaining the market took almost a decade and stricter measures had to be enforced.
GLOBAL G.A.P. guarantees safer food, fruits and better markets
Over the past few years, there has been a rising concern on the extensive use of pesticides. The slogan “Our food is slowly killing us” has become a debated topic in most parts of the world. It has become a regular headline in the news. If pesticides are not used in a controlled manner, we might end up losing the large market share in the export market especially in Europe, Mauritius, and Asia.
Despite the large number of companies offering certification to show proof of where the product comes from, only one agency has definite rules that should be followed by farmers. The GLOBAL G.A.P. is a food safety standard that was introduced to regulate the methods of production and to help farmers enhance the quality of their fruits. GLOBAL G.A.P. certification provides transparency of the food production methods from planting to harvesting. The production units are thoroughly evaluated by external auditors. Adhering to the set standards improves the methods of handling agricultural produce, ensuring that it’s produced healthily and sustainably to the consumer and a healthy way to the environment. The standard boosts customer confidence in the health and quality of fruits.
The GLOBAL G.A.P. is quite strict and only farmers and companies which adhere to good farming practices especially on HACCP principles, quality management, and integrated pest control programs can be issued with a certificate.
Getting the certificate is quite beneficial to farmers, exporters, and buyers. It enhances the profitability of the growers since buyers can buy the produce with confidence that its safe for consumption. Also, it offers a sense of trust and security to consumers hence the fruits will have a higher position in the export market.
Farm management systems make it easier to get the certification
To get a GLOBAL G.A.P. certificate, a farmer should follow administrative procedures set by the standard. The process can be time-consuming and quite challenging especially when conducted manually. It involves extensive assessment, monitoring, and analysis of data to find out what processes do not comply with the set criteria.
When investing in commercial fruit farming, it’s important to use farm management systems to run the farm. This can not only simplify the process of getting a certificate but also make it easier to look for tactical and operational support. If the data fed into the system complies with the GLOBAL G.A.P. standards, then you can get the certification within a short time.
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