Group Certification: How to Provide Efficient and Effective Assurance of Good Agricultural Practices to Grower Groups

Food, Food Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Food Safety & Regulation, Food Retail,
  • Monday, January 28, 2019

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification covering food safety is a retailer requirement of fruit and vegetable producers in the USA and beyond. Historically, GAP certification has been out of reach for many small and mid-sized farms, largely because of price. Group certification is an alternative offered by multiple certification programs, wherein grower groups can share the certification cost by pooling together. However, some wonder how a certification that does not require annual external audits of every farm can provide adequate assurance. 

To answer this question, featured speakers will explore the GLOBALG.A.P. certification system for producer groups – a certificate accepted by retailers worldwide – to understand how efficient and effective group certification works. Under this option, farmers must have an internal management and control system, perform individual self inspections and group internal inspections before receiving an external verification by a certification body. 

With the right controls in place, a group certification can deliver the assurance that parallels individual GAP certification.


Amanda May, Food Safety Manager, Wonderful Citrus

Amanda has been the California Farming Food Safety Manager for Wonderful Citrus since 2012. She is responsible for the GLOBALG.A.P. Option 2 implementation and maintenance for 50,000 acres. Her work also includes supplier compliance with FSMA Sanitary Transportation Rule, FSVP and Produce Safety Rule. Amanda is a member of the GLOBALG.A.P. National Technical Working Group and United Fresh Food Safety & Technology Council. She is an alumnus of California State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Agribusiness.

Message Presenter

Roberta Anderson, Executive Vice President, GLOBALG.A.P. North America

Roberta heads the areas of business development and marketing, and is responsible for operations, managing staff, overseeing the annual budget and planning processes to achieve GLOBALG.A.P.’s goal of being the preferred solution provider for farm assurance in North America. She joined GLOBALG.A.P. in 2015, and has built her career working with certification programs, marketing and business development in agriculture and food systems. She holds a B.Sc. in International Agriculture and Natural Resources (University of Wisconsin at Madison), and an M.B.A. in Business, Food Industry Management and Sustainability (Portland State University).

Message Presenter

Rebecca Anderson, Technical Key Account Manager, GLOBALG.A.P. North America

Rebecca is GLOBALG.A.P.’s technical expert for the North American marketplace, overseeing training, managing GLOBALG.A.P.’s National Technical Working Group, and supporting GLOBALG.A.P.’s Certification Bodies and Farm Assurers. She serves as GLOBALG.A.P. North America’s (GGNA) technical liaison with the integrity and standards development teams in Cologne. Rebecca joined GGNA in October 2016, and is a former certification body scheme manager with experience in training, auditing, orchard and dairy management, greenhouse production, and food service. She has a B.Sc. in Agriculture Science (California Polytechnic State University).

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

Farm-level producers/packers of fresh fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Owners
  • Farm managers
  • Facility managers
  • Internal auditors
  • Food safety staff

USA retailers, USA food service operators, and other buyers of fresh fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Food safety professionals (VP/Director/Manager) for perishables or specifically produce
  • Quality assurance professionals (VP/Director/Manager) for perishables or specifically produce
  • Buyers for perishables or specifically produce

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the requirements and procedures that support robust group certification
  • Learn about the key components of an internal quality management system
  • Get a glimpse into the real application of group certification straight from an industry leader


Xtalks Partner


GLOBALG.A.P. is a leading global certification program whose mission is to bring farmers and retailers together to produce and market safe food in order to protect scarce resources and build a sustainable future. The global number of growers under GLOBALG.A.P. certification is 188,000 and growing. GLOBALG.A.P. North America Inc. (GGNA) was established in 2010 to serve North American stakeholders, focusing on the unique needs of this market.

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