The Good Agricultural Practices


Experiencies from the last years show that consumers demands for the quality and safety of
the agricultural products, concerning the production- precessing and trading is growing. The
farmers’ role in food safety is increasing; to maintain their markets or to gain new markets,
they have to fulfill the growing request of rules and standards.They have to produce products
with added value or/and to introduce new elements in their technology like the Good
Agricultural Practices.
Taking in consideration the huge changes in the processing sector, the factors of globalisation,
the growing consumer demands, the influences of the production processes on the
environment the term of Good Agricultural Practices changed in the last few years. The
farmers, processors and the retail sector tries to give an answer for the increased demand for
quality and safety of their products to practice a sustainable way of production. The Good
Agricultural Practices can help in giving the answers to this demands.
The Good Agricultural Practices contents those knowledges concerning environment, society,
economy and agricultural production which can guarantee the production of healthy and safe
food and feed. The farmers, particularly in the vegetable and fruit production sector already
practice such technologies which can sustain for a long period the agricultural production, like
the integrated plant production.

Global food safety

Food safety has to be analised in an integrated system approach in the changing development
of our globalised world. The globalisation of the international food and feed retail sector
needs a view based on integration and prevention. As the international food and agricultural
products’ trade is growing, there is a need to solve the food safety problems raised in one
country using an international co-operation. Of course the increased, globalised trade is a cost
growing factor.
Food safety is part of globalisation. Globalisation is characterised as the growing trade,
market and capital concentration, the rapid use of the research and development results and
the fast information exchange. Each mentioned factor has a positive or negative effect on the
food safety and on the integrated system of the food chain.
In the incresed market opportunities the farmers have possibilities for new markets and the
consumers for a wide variety of goods. In the same time we are the witnesses of many
negative factors like fast evolution of food poisoning, infections between countries which
present a hazard to the consumer and an economic risk to the growers, processors an traders.


Present situation

To help farmers in complying for the increased demand of the retail sector governmental and
non- governmental organisations, the private sector developed many Good Agricultural
Practices. The application of this recommendations in many cases are not based on the
integrated view and co-ordinated in a positive way.

The term Good Agricultural Practice is used in different ways and in some cases it is
connected to the sustainable agriculture:
• international organisation, like FAO and governemtal organisations from the
sustainable agriculture support processes like the integrated plant protection,
integrated nutrition management the aims of which are to reduce the hazards of the
agricultural production on society and environment. In the majority of the cases the
integrated plant protection is in the focus.
• -governmental organisation such the ones in the Baltic countries developed their own
practices where they take into consideration the protection of the environment and the
quality and safety of the agricultural products,
• in the private sector, mostly in the processing sector and retail the Good Agricultural
Practice is used to obtain a quality end product, to satisfy the consumers demand and
to make a profit. Such systems were developed by companies like Unilever, Nestlé,
Danone or Food Plus GmbH’s EUREPGAP standard. EISA developed his own codex
for sustainable agriculture.
• some non- governmental organisation developed Good Agricltural Practices,
• many common points can be found between the organic production and Good
Agricultural Parctices, but the GAP application does not mean organic production,
• the term Good Agricultural Practice in the guidelines developed by the Codex
Alimantarius Comission is treated in a special way, only for the hygiene of the food
and to minimise and prevent the infestation of products. The Codex guidelines can be
used as a reference base for developing and harmonisation of international standards .
• some national programs like those in the USA use the term Good Agricultural Practice
only for the hygiene of the agricultural products, focusing on the prevention of
microbiological infection.