The Impact-Driven Approach to GLOBALG.A.P. Standards

As part of efforts to increase sustainability within good agricultural practices, GLOBALG.A.P. is to introduce an Impact-Driven Approach to sustainability in our standards. This consists of collecting data from growers on input consumption, processing the data, and transforming it into information which has a variety of uses. 

Why collect data?

Collecting input consumption data from growers and transforming it into information is intended to:

a.    Support producers in making their production systems more sustainable through improved decision-making, so that the whole supply chain benefits.
b.    Help GLOBALG.A.P. gain knowledge of producer realities, which in turn can
      i.  improve GLOBALG.A.P. standards and any other interventions within the supply chain,         
      ii. help make the standard leaner and simplify the assurance.
c.     Monitor and evaluate the impact of standards on sustainable farming through the reflection of input indicators on performance.
d.    Give the buyer a stronger sense of trust in a certification system that is outcome-based.

Currently, data on input consumption is not readily available and is rarely collected. With more than 200,000 growers under GLOBALG.A.P. certification in over 135 countries, GLOBALG.A.P. is well placed to encourage the collection of such data and create a strong flow of information. With years of data, numbers start to be useful for interpreting performance, both for individual growers and for the sector.

Your farm management system can play a role in the future of sustainability
Reaching these producers digitally via modern IT solutions for agriculture, such as farm management systems (FMS), has a huge potential impact on agricultural supply chains worldwide. The aim is to include all producers in the GLOBALG.A.P. network in the Impact-Driven Approach, with farm management systems acting as the interface between growers and GLOBALG.A.P. At present however, it is observed that there is only a limited number of producers using a farm management system.

GLOBALG.A.P. is looking for farm management system software providers who are interested in
a.    Working together with GLOBALG.A.P. in supporting its mission and purpose
b.    Benefitting from the network of producers and buyers that GLOBALG.A.P. offers

If you are a software provider and interested in becoming a partner for GLOBALG.A.P.’s Impact-Driven Approach, please contact  Otso Tolonen to determine the details.

1. What does an Impact-Driven Approach mean for producers?

Measuring metrical on-farm data, such as fertilizer/pesticide use, and water/energy efficiency, can help producers in their on-farm management practices and internal reviews. By tracking their performance in these areas, producers can identify inefficient processes to improve upon, but also monitor improvements in other areas.
Growers can compare their own input consumption against similar growers (according to region, crop, growing conditions). Awareness of their performance in relation to others might prove useful in setting goals.
While the data will be provided to the applicant in an anonymous and aggregated format, it must also be possible to de-aggregate the data so that certain data points can be traced back to regional occurrences. This allows regional peculiarities or trends to be identified, from which strategies can be derived that provide regional solutions to producers.

2. Which data is to be collected from growers?

 The following environmental metrics are to be registered:

  • Kg of active ingredient of PPP/ha/month, (in relation to crop)
  • List of active ingredients of PPP used, (in relation to crop)
  • Kg of N (in organic and inorganic fertilizers) used/ha/month, (in relation to crop)
  • Kg of P (in organic and inorganic fertilizers) used/ha/month, (in relation to crop)
  • Amount of water abstracted from water sources/month
  • Total amount of water used at the farm/month. (Proxy: total amount of water used in irrigation)
  • Percentage (%) of total water used (or irrigation water), that is abstracted from external sources/farm/month
  • Total amount of energy in KwH used at the farm/month
  • List of energy sources and amounts per source
  • Percentage (%) distribution of renewable and non-renewable sources in total energy used
3. How will the data be used?

a.    Grower registers input indicators in FMS
b.    FMS shares data via API with GLOBALG.A.P.
c.    GLOBALG.A.P. stores & processes the data
d.    GLOBALG.A.P. returns processed data to FMS
        i.    Historical individual trends in input consumption
e.    Data for FMSs to compile comparison reports FMS displays reports for individual growers
f.    GLOBALG.A.P. analyses data to better understand producer realities to improve standard and look for options to reduce assurance
g.    Certification bodies will carry out a check on the reliability of the data provided via the FMS when carrying out an audit onsite

4. What role do certification bodies play in the Impact-Driven Approach to sustainability?

The reliability of the data is based on the quality of data provided by the producer. Real and accurate data will be of value to the system and to the producers, who can use it to analyze their own production process. Reliability is therefore the responsibility of the producer. As a second level of authentication, certification bodies will verify a sample of the data during their onsite inspections for the Impact-Driven Approach add-on. 

5. What data will certification bodies be able to see?

Certification bodies will be able to inspect data onsite at the farm and verify its reliability by comparing it to what is reported in the farm management system.

GLOBALG.A.P. approved FMS software providers for the Impact-Driven Approach to Sustainability