Uruguay welcomes GlobalGAP Tour

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Mike Knowles



Uruguay welcomes GlobalGAP Tour

Harmonisation of agricultural standards progressing well in Latin American region, delegates are told

Uruguay welcomes GlobalGAP Tour

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Leaders from the fresh produce sector across the Americas have participated in meetings on how to implement agricultural certification standards system GlobalGAP in their regions.

Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, México, Perú, Uruguay and the US took part in the meetings, which took place in Montevideo during the second of five GlobalGAP Tour 2009 events scheduled between September and November.

Jorge Hernandez, senior vice-president for food safety and quality assurance at leading distributor US Foodservice and a GlobalGAP board member, explained there was growing demand in the US for mandatory and voluntary third-party certification programmes, based on product risk, to verify compliance with existing US safety standards.

Mr Hernandez has led efforts to implement GlobalGAP standards into US Foodservice requirements for national and foreign producers.

Sergio José Riera, quality assurance divisional manager for South Latin America at McDonald's, confirmed that his company had pushed for further harmonisation between its own standards and GlobalGAP, revealing that the division now accepts GlobalGAP where it matches its own quality systems.

GlobalGAP secretary Kristian Moeller welcomed the application of national interpretation guidelines for fresh produce in Guatemala, which were submitted during the event by the director of Fundacion AGIL, Jorge Méndez, and Edgard Roberto Mota.

Fundacion AGIL hosts the newly established GlobalGAP National Technical Work Group in Guatemala.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Moeller said: "The comprehensive input and feedback received during the round table discussions were extremely valuable and demonstrated the commitment of producers and other GlobalGAP stakeholders in Latin America to the consultation process."

GlobalGAP's Fernando Mietto, who was involved with organising the event in Montevideo, added that he was impressed with the support received from those organisations attending, and promised the region would continue to playing a leading role within the GlobalGAP community.

The next stops on the GlobalGAP Tour 2009 are Kuala Lumpur on 14-15 October 2009, Washington DC on 29 October 2009 and Athens 10-11 November 2009.

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