A virtual farm visit becomes reality

The GLOBALG.A.P. Academy is responsible for training certification bodies and the general public. Although the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy was only formally established in 2012, GLOBALG.A.P. has been providing some form of training to thousands of consultants, producers, certification bodies, and others since 2006.

The most popular workshops hosted by the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy today are those for the flagship Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard. A crucial part of these workshops is a farm visit during which the technical requirements of the standard are demonstrated in a practical setting. To complement the increasing shift towards online learning, the farm visit element has now been successfully adapted for online trainings.

A virtual farm, in reality

The virtual farm visit was recorded on site at Pleroma Farms in South Africa, a business which has been owned by the same family for almost 100 years. The vegetable farm supplies numerous supermarkets with packed vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, sweetcorn, and green beans, with production processes certified to GLOBALG.A.P. IFA and GRASP as well as Farming for the Future.

Even though the farm employs around 300 workers in low season and 400 in high season, a spokesperson from the farm told GLOBALG.A.P. that family values are still “the most important aspect of our farm. This family includes all races, genders, and ages. Farming is in our blood. It is our way of life. And we love it!”

Keen to provide the training environment for the new virtual farm visit, the farm owners note that GLOBALG.A.P. standards help them maintain excellence, which is ultimately good for their business : “It keeps the farming improving based on world trends. It helps us improve on food safety to ensure that we can provide a high-quality product that is safe for all to consume.”

Behind the scenes

The film crew was able to shoot several scenes on the farm to address different topics and simulate daily activities on a working farm. Some of the scenarios were invented for training purposes, but all of the people seen in the film are real farm workers. Within the training module, scenes will be sorted according to topic.

On the day of filming, GLOBALG.A.P. was also supported by local consultant Retha Faul, who acted as the consultant visiting the farm and guides the training participants through the different media stations on the virtual farm. Retha and her team specialize in consultation services in food safety, GLOBALG.A.P. standards, food technology, internal auditing, health and safety (ISO 45001:2018), and further training. Being able to have such an experienced consultant at the heart of the videos is a key advantage of the virtual format.

Participate in a training

The virtual farm visit will be a mandatory part of all GLOBALG.A.P. Academy trainings on IFA for fruit and vegetables, version 6. For information on our public trainings, please visit the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy course catalog.