Understanding Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

According to the FAO / WHO. “GAP’s are a set of regulations used in the production, processing and transport of food.”

By Max Stevens on September 18, 2019
Understanding Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Image

Departmental Program on Food and Nutritional Security, Antioquia, Colombia

The article below was originally written in Spanish by our Argentine correspondent, Javier Alvarez.

According to the FAO / WHO, “GAP’s are a set of regulations used in the production, processing and transport of food.” They are implemented with the intention of improving the health of employees and their families as well as preserving the environment.

GAP’s aim to achieve a balance between what is produced, the environment and the society that will consume those foods. The aim is to reduce environmental impact and always implement production methods that contribute to the sustainability of an operation.

These policies are in line with a mind shift from the modern consumer who is more aware and concerned with the safety and quality of their food. They are becoming more demanding, in terms of what they eat. In developed nations, consumers are demanding healthy, ecological, sustainable products that do not have a significant impact on the environment.

A shift in Consumer Mindset

A shift in consumer mindset means the producer needs to adapt or risk losing revenue. Roleplayers in the chain have had to change their production habits in order to adhere to the GAP. Furthermore, transparency has been demanded in the industry and as a result, calory counts, saturated fats, proteins, sugar and more need to be displayed on the packaging of products.

This is only the beginning as the more information that is made available to the public, the more specific they will become in their food selection. As a result, this will create new market opportunities but also generate better food practices.

In practice, there is often a lack of knowledge about GAPs. Therefore farmers must be trained and demonstrate their understanding. They must produce in a more conscious manner and exhibit more control of their end product. Whilst generating more revenue in the process.

Controlled Pathogen Free Environments

GAP’s enable producers to work in controlled, pathogen-free environments, These contain controlled parameters such as soil, water and fertilizers. In turn, this provides consumers with the knowledge of where it came from, and what they were consuming, or how it was produced.

This newfound transparency in the productive chain means that everyone benefits from safer, healthier produce.