Safeguarding certification status throughout the supply chain Safeguarding certification status throughout the supply chain

The GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody Standard

The GLOBALG.A.P. Chain of Custody (CoC) standard ensures that any product bearing a GGN label logo or sold with a GLOBALG.A.P. claim is truly sourced from a GLOBALG.A.P. certified production process.

The CoC standard provides this level of security by specifying strict requirements for the proper segregation, handling, and tracing of products in the supply chain. This prevents products originating from GLOBALG.A.P. certified production processes from being substituted or diluted with those from uncertified farms, either in error or for economic gain.

The CoC standard is therefore an essential tool for safeguarding product integrity from farm to retailer, reducing the risk of food fraud and enabling a quick response if problems arise.

CoC at a glance:

  • Identifies products originating from GLOBALG.A.P. certified production processes and safeguards this status throughout the entire process, from farm to retailer
  • Lays out strict requirements for the handling of products originating from certified production processes, including the proper segregation of products that originate from GLOBALG.A.P. certified production processes from those which do not
  • Obligatory for companies that label products with a GLOBALG.A.P. identification number (e.g., GGN, CoC Number) or participate in the GGN label initiative
  • Enhances supply chain transparency and product integrity, providing added value and customer reassurance

A guide to our documents

  • The CoC checklist is the document you need to complete your self-assessment.
  • The CoC general regulations define how the certification process works and list the requirements for quality management systems and related issues.

You can find all the required documents in the  GLOBALG.A.P. document center.

CoC version updates

CoC is currently valid in v6.

The CoC Technical Committee has been working on a clarification of v6 and intends to release an update of the standard – CoC v6.1 – during the fourth quarter of 2022.

The following clarifications will be included in the new CoC v6.1, but are also relevant and valid for v6 from now on: 

CoC general regulations terminology

CoC general regulations 1.6 d) – New definition of subcontractor included

Subcontractor can be defined as a person or company that performs an activity on behalf of another person or company (the contractor). The contractor is responsible for the product during the entire subcontracted activity. The contractor may subcontract activities within the scope of its certificate to subcontractors with or without CoC certification .

The activities that may be subject to subcontracting agreements are those that are included in the scope of the contractor’s CoC certificate, such as, purchasing, processing, packing, storage, labeling, and invoicing of products.

The frequency of the certification body audits of the subcontracted activities is based on the risk classification.

 

Subcontractors risk classification

(i)     Subcontractors are considered high risk if they are engaged in:

  • (Re)processing, (re)packing, and/or (re)labeling of products originating from certified production processes, purchasing and/or invoicing on behalf of the contractor company
  • Storage and handling of loose products (unpacked, unsealed, or unlabeled)
  • Storage and handling of packed, but unlabeled products

E.g., a warehouse where unpacked or unlabeled products are stored; a processing or packing activity; the labeling or relabeling of products

 

(ii)   Subcontractors are considered low risk if they are engaged in:

  • Storage and handling of packed, sealed, and labeled products with no risk of product mixing or identity modification

E.g., cross-docking activities; loading and unloading of packed and labeled products; a warehouse where only packed and labeled products are stored

For more information about rules for subcontractors’ see CoC general regulations, section 5.4.

CoC general regulations 1.6 e) – Definition of “mixing of products” added to this point

Mixing of products refers to the mixing of loose products and does not include the mixing of packed and labeled products originating from certified production processes with packed and labeled products originating from noncertified production processes in one logistic unit. E.g., it is permitted to have sealed and labeled packages of products originating from certified production processes together on the same pallet with sealed and labeled packages of products originating from noncertified production processes, however it is not permitted to have products originating from certified and from noncertified production processes in the same pack.

CoC general regulations 1.6 e) – Definition of producers’ certification options added to this point

Option 1 individual producer or Option 3 individual producer under a GLOBALG.A.P. benchmarked scheme; Option 2 producer group or Option 4 producer group under a GLOBALG.A.P. benchmarked scheme.

Checklist requirements

CoC SC 2.1: Before or during the transfer of ownership, does the company have a procedure for systematically authenticating, via the GLOBALG.A.P. IT systems, suppliers' GGNs or CoC Numbers (direct supplier), the expiration date of their certificates, and the intended destination countries?

Additional clarification: Only the direct supplier’s (the one from which the company is buying the products) GGN, CoC, or PHA Number needs to be included in the input authentication procedure.

CoC SC 4.2: Does all the transaction and shipment (transport) documentation for the outgoing product originating from certified production processes contain the minimum information required in the CoC standard?

Additional clarification: The CoC Number can be included in the transaction documents template and the certification status can be indicated using a code/mark/symbol. (E.g., “potatoes*” for the product reference in the transaction document and in the document template the disclaimer “Only products marked with * originate from GLOBALG.A.P. certified production processes – CoC Number 1234567891234”).

Only the company’s own CoC Number needs to be referenced.

CoC SC 4.3: Are the logistic units (e.g., pallets, bins) containing products originating from certified production processes labeled with the minimum information requested in the CoC standard?

Additional clarification: The GGN of the producer must be included on the label of the products if it is possible to trace the product back to an individual producer/producer group. If it is not possible to trace the product back to an individual producer/producer group or if the company opts not to use the GGN, the company’s own CoC Number shall be used.

If the company labels the smallest packed unit with the individual producer or producer group’s GGN, it may omit the CoC Number from the product label.

CoC SC 4.3, 4.5, and 4.6:

Additional clarification: Shall be read as “Logistic units (e.g., pallets, bins), trade items (e.g., boxes, crates), or packed retail consumer items (e.g., bags, nets, shrink wrap, clamshells) shall be labeled.”

This means that if any of this packaging level is labeled, the other control points can be considered as complied with.

Deadline approaching

The GLOBALG.A.P. Advisory Board is committed to strengthening the GLOBALG.A.P. system by requiring the strict implementation of the CoC standard throughout supply chains from 2023.
Click here to learn more.

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If you have any questions about the CoC standard or its implementation, please email  standard_support@globalgap.org