GLOBALG.A.P. Certification

GFSI-Level Food Safety & Environmental Practices

What is GLOBALG.A.P. Certification?

As the world’s leading standard for safe, sustainable agriculture, GLOBALG.A.P. is an affordable, holistic approach to producing safe and sustainable fresh agriculture. GLOBALG.A.P. certification opens valuable expansion opportunities to large and small producers alike, and helps satisfy the advanced food safety and sustainability specifications of retailers and major buyers in the worldwide marketplace.

GLOBALG.A.P. is the most widely accepted private sector food safety certification in the world. As such, this certification helps you reach new markets and grow your business globally while assuring your customers that your good agricultural practices for food safety and your environmental management practices meet industry-recognized GLOBALG.A.P. requirements. GLOBALG.A.P. is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked standard.

Program Details

Eligible Producers

SCS is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to conduct GLOBALG.A.P. audits for any producer of primary agricultural products including fruits and vegetables, combinable crops, and hops.

Certification Options

SCS offers certification to:

  • Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Combinable Crops
  • Hops
  • Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS)
  • Produce Handling Assurance (PHA) Standard

The following certification options apply to all standards.

  • Option 1: Certification for Single-Site and Multi-Site - For For individual producers of single-site or multi-site operations with or without an implemented Quality Management System (QMS).
  • Option 2: Group Certification - for small producers seeking recognition under one group certificate, and for multi-site operations operating under a unified QMS and internal auditing procedure.

Certification Criteria

GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance is a globally harmonized scheme for Good Agricultural Practices with food safety and environmental components. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) is GFSI.

SCS certifies to IFA and is also approved for:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Combinable Crops
  • Hops

GLOBALG.A.P IFA certification now has the added benefit of meeting Walmart’s new requirement to have Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices verified by a third party.

GLOBALG.A.P. Harmonized Produce Safety Standard is a separate standard, covering food safety and food traceability essentials for fruits and vegetables. HPSS is similar to GAP audits in the US market and is GFSI. It was designed for producers selling within or into the United States.

GLOBALG.A.P. Produce Handling Assurance Standard is a facility audit that can be performed as a standalone audit or in conjunction with an IFA or HPSS audit to assess a packinghouse.

GLOBALG.A.P. GRASP is a voluntary, farm-level social/labor management tool for global supply chains, to be used in combination with Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA).


SCS can walk you through a pre-assessment process. Pre-assessment is a non-scored mock audit designed to assess the level of your preparedness for a certification audit. Ask about combining a pre-assessment with your initial audit for greater efficiency.

Smart Checklist Builder

The Smart Checklist Builder is designed to help you identify relevant GLOBALG.A.P. standards and add-ons based on your specific production processes or operations. Once you have chosen your combination of solutions, you can generate a customizable self-assessment checklist to kickstart your certification process.

Why Choose SCS?

SCS Global Services provides thorough, timely, and professional audits. With three decades of expertise in food safety and sustainability, our worldwide network of experienced auditors can meet your product-to-market deadlines. Repeat customers choose SCS for three key reasons:

Expert Knowledge: SCS’s GLOBALG.A.P. auditors have an in-depth knowledge of farming and agriculture.

Superior Customer Care: Our team is dedicated to providing each and every client with the best possible service. This is the SCS difference!

Scheduling Flexibility: SCS will work with you to find a date that works best for you and your team.

  • Benefits
  • FAQs
  • Process
  • Training
  • Limit Risk - Minimize the potential for food safety incidents and recalls
  • Become a Preferred Supplier - Many retailers require GFSI benchmarked certification for their produce suppliers
  • Global Recognition - GLOBALG.A.P. IFA is recognized by more than 100 countries
  • Competitive Edge - Assure your customers that food has been grown, harvested and handled to rigorous standards
  • Improvement over Time - Demonstrate continual improvements to quality and safety processes
  • Professional Service - SCS is known for our thorough, timely audits and personal attention to our clients

What is GLOBALG.A.P.?
GLOBALG.A.P. is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. With more than 700 certified products and over 200,000 certified producers in more than 135 countries, GLOBALG.A.P. is the most widely accepted private sector food safety certification in the world.

What are the benefits of being GLOBALG.A.P. certified?
The majority of retailers in today’s markets require certain standards that ensure safe and sustainable agriculture. GLOBALG.A.P. certification is highly regarded for demonstrating on-farm food safety and sustainability. By complying with GLOBALG.A.P. standards, producers can sell their products both locally and globally. GLOBALG.A.P. certification thus offers producers a ticket to the global market.

What types of businesses will benefit from GLOBALG.A.P. Certification?
GLOBALG.A.P. 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. GLOBALG.A.P. is a business-to-business label and is therefore not directly visible to consumers. Existing national or regional farm assurance schemes that have successfully completed their benchmarking process are recognized as an equivalent to GLOBALG.A.P.

Which GLOBALG.A.P. standards does SCS certify to?
SCS certifies to the current version of Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) for Fruits and Vegetables and is approved for Combinable Crops, Hops, and add-ons such as GRASP. SCS is also accredited to certify producers to Produce Handling Assurance (PHA) and Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS).

What is GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Certification?
Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) is a comprehensive certification recognized by retailers globally. IFA emphasizes a holistic approach to farm certification and covers food safety, environment (including biodiversity), worker's operational health and safety, and traceability. The Fruits & Vegetables sub-scope covers all stages of production, from pre-harvest activities such as soil management and plant protection product application to post-harvest produce handling, packing and storing. The Combinable Crops sub-scope covers propagation material, machinery and equipment, crop protection, harvesting, and harvest crop handling..

IFA certification allows producers greater access to both international and domestic markets. The IFA Standard is globally recognized by retailers and food service in more than 135 countries

What is GLOBALG.A.P. Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS) certification?
The GLOBALG.A.P. Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS) is a robust food safety standard that includes verbatim the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative’s Harmonized Standards, developed by the International Fresh Produce Association. HPSS is a streamlined, food safety-only, good agricultural practices standard designed by and for producers in the United States, or selling into the U.S. HPSS is benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is aligned with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

Visit the HPSS section on the GlobalG.A.P. website for more information (

What GLOBALG.A.P. services does SCS offer?
SCS offers the GLOBALG.A.P. certification for individual & producer groups. We offer the IFA, HPSS, Produce Handling Assurance, GRASP, and FLC assessment add-ons.

What is the difference between IFA and HPSS?
The GLOBALG.A.P. IFA is the first choice for producers exporting outside of the US. The IFA includes control points related to worker protection and sustainability while the HPSS is focused on food safety & good agricultural practices.

What is the PHA standard?
This PHA is a facility audit that can be performed as a standalone audit or in conjunction with the IFA or HPSS audits to assess a packinghouse under the same ownership.

What is the FLC assessment?
The FLC assessment is a shortened IFA checklist used to check compliance of subcontractors as required by AF control point 5.1 of the full IFA checklist. A letter of conformance can be achieved to show compliance. The assessment is intended to assist producers in choosing reputable FLCs for harvest.

How often will I need to schedule a GLOBALG.A.P. audit?
The GLOBALG.A.P audit is an annual certification. If you would like to certify multiple commodities with different harvest practices, we may need to visit more than once to observe harvest.

When should I schedule my GLOBALG.A.P. audit?
You should plan on scheduling your audit when harvest and produce handling (facilty operations) can be observed.

Can I fail my GLOBALG.A.P audit?
There are no “auto-fails” in the GLOBALG.A.P. audit. As long as all non-conformances can be corrected within in a specified time period after the audit, any farm operation can achieve certification.

What is the GRASP-add on?
GRASP is an optional GLOBALG.A.P. add on is designed to assess farm level social practices like worker welfare and safety. GRASP is not a stand alone audit.

Does SCS offer pre-assessment audits?
Yes, SCS always offers pre-assessments or “mock” audits to help producers identify any issues that may need to be addressed.

Does GLOBALG.A.P. apply to indoor growing operations?
Yes, GLOBALG.A.P. applies to covered greenhouses and indoor growing operations.

I am a very small farm, would GLOBALG.A.P. apply to me?
Yes, SCS small producers benefit from GLOBALG.A.P. certification. SCS also offers discounts for small farms.

How do I start the GLOBALG.A.P. process?
You begin by downloading the checklist and performing your own self-assessment readiness audit. When you are ready to schedule, you simply reach to SCS’s Client Services team and we will provide you with everything you need to schedule a GLOBALG.A.P. audit.

Some of the questions and answers above are excerpted from the GLOBALG.A.P. website.

  1. Apply for Auditing
    Fill out an SCS Registration form. Contact SCS at [email protected] to request guidance. SCS will return a proposal for your approval with suggested scope of work, timeline, and quote. To initiate the certification process, return a signed proposal and Work Order.
  2. Schedule the Audit
    SCS assigns an auditor and audit dates are proposed. Once an audit date is confirmed, an audit plan is provided to ensure that your team is prepared.
  3. On-Site Audit
    A team meeting is required at the beginning and the end of the audit. At the conclusion of the audit, the auditor discusses the audit results, including any non-conformities.
  4. Complete Corrective Actions and Technical Review
    Identified non-conformities must be addressed and evidence of corrective actions provided to SCS within 28 days. The auditor reviews and closes out non-conformities as warranted. Once this process is complete, the auditor submits an audit report.
  5. Make Certification Decision
    SCS conducts a final technical review of the audit report and Corrective Action documentation and makes the final certification decision. SCS can also provide client marketing support.
  6. Receive Certificate
    If certification is achieved, SCS issues the certificate and final report to the facility/operation and posts audit results in the GLOBALG.A.P. Directory, as well as to any retailer databases when requested. Annual audits are required to maintain certification.

GLOBALG.A.P. Growers Workshop: IFA - Crops Base; Fruits & Vegetables

This two-day course is designed for food safety and quality team members of all levels involved in the GLOBALG.A.P. program. The training explains the various farm certification options and the requirements upon which the Standard, inspections and audits are based. It is available in-person (public or onsite at your facility) or self-paced online, in either English or Spanish. See here.

Visit our Resource Center to view complementary webinars on GLOBALG.A.P. and more – see here

For other SCS training courses, including HACCP for Produce Operations, Internal Auditor, SQF and more see here.

SCS Global Services México ofrece capacitación en persona y en línea a su propio ritmo see here.

Horario de cursos ofrecidos en México - HACCP, SQF, GLOBALG.A.P.

Apply Now

Ready to start the process? Complete an Application.

Kristy-Ann Bura