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EureGAP certification key to capture world agriculture products market

KARACHI (October 12 2007): The EureGAP certification remains key to capturing world mango and other agricultural products market. EureGAP is preferred in Europe and may soon become mandatory.

According to Hortimag, a newsletter of Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB), the Board is working hard encouraging growers, technically supporting and facilitating them in obtaining EureGAP verification.

Fruit flies infestation and sap burn are other major issues being addressed by PHDEB partly through adoption of good agricultural practices leading to EureGAP certification and partly through post harvest hot water treatment and, in future, through irradiation. Sap burn not only damages cosmetic look but the quality of the fruit as well. Further it reduces marketability and the price of mangoes.

PHDEB with technical support from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, has developed technology for `sap` management. Immersion of fruit soon after harvest in one-percent lime solution, which removes all stains and neutralises adverse impact on fruit quality. It has been widely demonstrated this season for commercial adoption by the industry.

At its eighth annual conference held recently in Thailand, EureGAP announced that it was changing its title and logo to GlobalGAP. The decision was taken to reflect its expanding international role in establishing the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) mutually agreed between multiple retailers and their suppliers.

In 10 years since its inception, initially targeted at Europe, the voluntary organisation has seen its influence spread and led to the creation of identical criteria adopted as far as South and Central America, Africa, Australia, and most recently Japan and Thailand.

They established equivalent schemes such as ChileGAP, ChinaGAP, KenyaGAP, MexicoGAP, JGAP (Japan) and most recently ThaiGAP and are backed by national governments, retailers, producers and exporters.

Currently GlobalGAP covers over 80,000 certified producers in no less than 80 countries with others expected to follow. GlobalGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe.

The GlobalGAP standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimising detrimental environmental impacts of farming operators, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare.

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