The rapidly increasing world population, changing eating habits and food needs, negative changes in the ecological balance, increasingly diverse methods of processing agricultural products for consumption, and the new agricultural techniques, have brought some problems with securing food that is safe for human health. However, especially in recent years, with the increasing consumer awareness, products that can be guaranteed to be safe in the food market are increasingly preferred. Food safety means that there should be no unnatural components in food substances, and that they should be present at harmless or acceptable levels and food hygiene should be ensured, and it is directly related to the relationship between businesses and the environment during the production stage, as well as community health and welfare. Retailers have come together to guarantee their customers that the products they offer are safe and produced in accordance with the principles of sustainability by introducing the concept of GAP (Good Agricultural Practices). Launched in 1997 as a non-profit initiative by the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP), EUREPGAP (now called GLOBALGAP) aims to ensure the safety of agricultural products from the field to the table and to improve food quality through the conditions developed by the EUREPGAP Technical and Standards Committee.
The GLOBALGAP certificate, which has become a prerequisite for the export of fresh fruit and vegetables to countries in the European Union, is a product monitoring guarantee provided by European Union (EU) retailers to consumers. It requires a commitment that the food purchased by the consumer does not pose a food hygiene safety risk and is produced in a friendly manner with the environment. The producer and/or exporter who wants to export to the EU must prove to the consumer through the retailer that the product meets these commitments. As a result, the concept of the GLOBALGAP Certificate, issued by an independent third-party organization, has emerged to show that the relevant commitments have been met. The GLOBALGAP certificate acts as a passport for the producer and/or exporter to reach their product to the EU market.
Due to the rapid adoption of this concept in our country, some large retailers have started to request GLOBALGAP certified products from their manufacturers/suppliers as a proof of the reliability of the products they offer to their customers.
GLOBALGAP standards are standards that define the minimum safety requirements demanded by consumers. Consumers want to be assured that the food they purchase is not harmful from a microbiological, physical and chemical point of view, that it does not harm the environment and natural balance during production, that it is produced in compliance with legal requirements, and that all necessary precautions are taken to ensure the health and safety of the workers involved in production.
GLOBALGAP, which is also considered as a quality system in the agriculture sector, focuses on production in the field and adopts integrated farming principles. It is also similar to the HACCP and ISO 9001 in terms of food safety and quality, ISO 14001 in terms of environmental management, and OHSAS 18001 in terms of health and safety at work. Additionally, it requires the implementation of Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Crop Management methods.