The challenge of globalizing markets is nowhere greater than in the primary food sector. GLOBAL GAP (formerly known as EUREPGAP) has established itself as a key reference for Good Agricultural Practices
(G.A.P.) in the global market-place, by translating consumer requirements into agricultural production in a rapidly growing list of countries - currently more than 80 on every continent.

* GLOBALGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. The aim is to establish ONE standard for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) with different product applications capable of fitting to the whole of global agriculture.

* GLOBALGAP is a pre-farm-gate standard, which means that the certificate covers the process of the certified product from farm inputs like feed or seedlings and all the farming activities until the product leaves the farm. GLOBALGAP is a business-to-business label and is therefore not directly visible to consumers.

* GLOBALGAP certification is carried out by more than 100 independent and accredited certification bodies in more than 80 countries. It is open to all producers worldwide.

* GLOBALGAP includes annual inspections of the producers and additional unannounced inspections.

* GLOBALGAP consists of a set of normative documents. These documents cover the GLOBALGAP General Regulations, the GLOBALGAP Control Points and Compliance Criteria and the GLOBALGAP Checklist.

As many other on-farm assurance systems have been in place for some time prior to the existence of GLOBALGAP, a way had to be found to encourage the development of regionally adjusted management systems and so to prevent farmers from having to undergo multiple audits. Existing national or regional farm assurance schemes that have successfully completed their benchmarking process are recognised as an equivalent to GLOBALGAP.

The GLOBALGAP standard is subject to a three year revision cycle of continuous improvement to take into account technological and market developments.