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What is New Zealand GAP?

August 2006

What is New Zealand GAP?

New Zealand GAP is the new name of the New Zealand Fresh Produce Approved Supplier Programme.

New Zealand GAP is a quality assurance programme that provides a traceable, accountable system from crop to customer for the production of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

It ensures best practices are in place for the production, packaging and distribution of New Zealand fresh produce, and reduces the risk of health, safety and environmental issues - so customers can buy with confidence.

The programme was developed by New Zealand growers and launched by Vegfed (NZ Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation) in 1999. In 2000 the NZ Fruitgrowers Federation joined the programme and a successful pilot in 2003 saw flower growers also seeking accreditation and adopting it as the standard for their industry. The programme is now owned by Horticulture NZ following the merging of Vegfed, the Fruitgrowers Federation and the Berryfruit Growers Federation in 2005.

Why was the review carried out?

Over the last four months the Management Committee has carried out a review of the programme to ensure that it continues to meet market demands and addresses the improvements recommended by benchmarking to the world retailer association’s quality assurance programme, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). For more information about GFSI visit www.ciesnet.com.

Are there any changes to the programme as a result of the review, and if so, what?

Yes. We changed the programme’s name and some of the programme’s content.

Firstly, the name change. The programme is now called New Zealand GAP. Incorporating GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) into the programme was necessary to reflect the expansion of the programme, both locally and internationally. This new name promotes the key benefit of the programme to all customers in the supply chain, including consumers, and makes it clear what the programme stands for –good agricultural practice.

As well as a name change, the review has also resulted in some minor amendments to the programme content, to ensure that it continues to reflect current food production best practice. Some small changes were also required to successfully benchmark the programme to GFSI. Some of the more substantive changes include:

- Incorporating information and assessment on the labeling requirements set out in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Joint Food Code;

- Incorporating more information about how to use nutrients safely and reduce the risk of nutrient leaching, and assessment around this;

- Placing more emphasis on industry quality grade standards.

Are these changes supported by the industry?

Yes. We sought feedback on the changes to the content from a wide range of groups including Approved Suppliers, Product Group Managers, certification bodies, retailers, wholesales, exporters and the NZ Food Safety Authority. Feedback from these groups about the changes was extremely positive.

What other feedback arose from the review?

Most of the additional feedback around the changes to the programme content was limited to changes in wording rather than substantive changes. However we did receive a request from industry to review whether the audit services should be contestable (i.e. whether an Approved Supplier could use an alternative auditor instead of the programme’s current auditors, AgriQuality NZ). A contestable audit service is also a requirement of the GFSI.

Who supports the programme?

New Zealand GAP is supported by all major fresh produce retailers and wholesalers in New Zealand, with the majority making accreditation to New Zealand GAP a condition of market access. The programme is HACCP based (i.e. Hazard Analysis at Critical Control Points) and is endorsed by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.

How do you know who is an Approved Supplier?

As there will be only one New Zealand GAP logo, retailers and wholesalers will be able to check what type of accreditation an Approved Supplier holds by accessing the Approved Supplier database on the New Zealand GAP website in the same way they have in the past. This will state whether an Approved Supplier is accredited to the domestic programme, or has gained equivalency to EUREPGAP or GFSI. Approved Suppliers will also hold certificates stating what type of accreditation they hold.

Also look out for the New Zealand GAP (or the old NZ Fresh Produce Approved Supplier logo) on packaging and promotional material.

Are Approved Suppliers required to use the new branding from August?

No. Although Horticulture New Zealand and the New Zealand GAP Management Committee will begin using the new name and logo from the beginning of August, there is no requirement for Approved Suppliers to do so. However over time we expect to see a move to adopting it, as companies recognise its value as a promotional tool that can reach a wider audience.

ENDS

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