New Zealand GAP is a quality assurance programme that provides a traceable, accountable system from crop to customer for the production of fruit, vegetables, olives and flowers.
It ensures best practices are in place for the production, packaging and distribution of New Zealand fresh produce, and reduces the risk of health, safety and environmental issues - so customers can buy with confidence.
New Zealand GAP is the new name of the New Zealand Fresh Produce Approved Supplier Programme. GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practice.
Since the Approved Supplier Programme was launched in 1999, it has become one of New Zealand’s largest quality assurance programmes covering 80% of all New Zealand domestically grown and marketed fresh produce.
The development of the Approved Supplier Programme was a pro-active move by New Zealand growers to address consumer concerns relating to food safety, the environment and quality assurance issues.
The other key driver was a desire by growers for an efficient, cost effective management and production system that removed the need for multiple auditors.
The programme was launched in 1999 by Vegfed (the NZ Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation). In 2000 the NZ Fruitgrowers Federation joined, and a successful pilot in 2003 saw flower growers also seeking accreditation and adopting the programme as the standard for their industry.
While the programme is still predominately made up of those supplying the domestic market, it has expanded to include export markets by benchmarking to international quality assurance programmes GLOBALGAP and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). New Zealand GAP is increasingly being accepted by international markets as an alternative to other assurance programmes.
During the first half of 2006 the programme was reviewed to ensure that it continued to meet market demands and addressed the improvements recommended by benchmarking to the Global Food Safety Initiative. As a result of that review, the programme was renamed to New Zealand GAP and small changes were made to the programme’s content.
The programme is now owned by Horticulture NZ following the merger of Vegfed, the Fruitgrowers Federation and the Berryfruit Growers Federation in 2005.
By meeting the standards required by the programme, New Zealand GAP Approved Suppliers are able to demonstrate to their customers that their products are of an acceptable quality, produced in a sustainable manner, and in the case of fruit and vegetables, safe to eat.
All Approved Suppliers are independently audited and monitored and must continuously meet the New Zealand GAP criteria to ensure on-going accreditation.
New Zealand GAP is based on:
- Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)
- The seven principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis at Critical Control Points)
- Elements of ISO 9002
Programme Market Requirements:
New Zealand GAP is supported by all major New Zealand retailers and fresh produce wholesalers, with organisations such as Progressive Enterprises, Foodstuffs, Turners & Growers and MG Marketing all making accreditation to the New Zealand GAP programme (or similar) a requirement for continued market access.
In addition, New Zealand GAP has been successfully benchmarked against international quality assurance programmes, and approved by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.