International farm assurance program GlobalG.A.P. has published a new guide for compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in decades.
The FSMA was signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011, and aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.
The guide supports Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) users in efficiently meeting new requirements. IFA is the most widely utilized good agricultural practice scheme for fresh produce in the world.
The organization's USA Crops National Technical Working Group conducted a detailed comparative analysis of GlobalG.A.P. IFA V5.0-2 against the new rules, and found IFA-certified producers met the majority of requirements.
Where differences in approach and requirements were identified, GlobalG.A.P. developed an explanation in the form of a guide.
It includes a self assessment which highlights specific differences between GlobalG.A.P. IFA coverage and the FSMA Produce Rule, and allows the IFA user to make the necessary adjustments to comply.
GlobalG.A.P. USA Crops National Technical Working Group chairman Walter Ram, who is also vice president of food safety for Guimarra Companies, said 'a practical management tool' had been created for IFA users all over the world to help ensure FSMA Produce Rule compliance.
"As a supplier of fresh produce from the USA and many other countries, we want to maximize the efficiency of our food safety and regulatory controls and this tool helps our growers to use GLOBALG.A.P. IFA to ensure Produce Rule compliance," he said.
"It addresses the unique requirements in the Produce Rule without compromising IFA’s global identity and recognition.”
To view the user guide, click here.