COLOGNE, GERMANY – Multi-sector collaboration to enable farmers to meet responsible pest management strategies
Over the past year, The Sustainability Consortium has hosted a working group to harmonize criteria for Responsible Pest Management (RPM) best practices in agriculture. This work resulted in the development of the RPM Framework and User Guide. The RPM Framework supports producers in integrating responsible pest management practices and aligns industry standards across certification and compliance programs, including GLOBALG.A.P. and other industry leaders.
Through this working group, retailers were able to explore their role in implementing best practices. Walmart, together with the support of the IPM Institute of North America, focused on the biodiversity elements of the RPM Framework, especially with regard to pollinators. Walmart believes:
“Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, play a crucial role in growing fruits and vegetables, but their populations have declined in recent decades.” – Walmart 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report
Walmart’s sustainability strategy expands protection for pollinator species in its global agricultural supply chains
As outlined in Walmart U.S.’s new pollinator health commitments, the company has embedded biodiversity requirements from the RPM Framework into its supply chain policies.
Promoting environmental biodiversity together
To meet these robust biodiversity requirements, Walmart and the IPM Institute of North America have been working with GLOBALG.A.P. to ensure the suitability of the globally applicable Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard for all Crops (including Combinable Crops, Flowers and Ornamentals, Fruit and Vegetables, Hop, and Tea). GLOBALG.A.P. is pleased to have achieved acceptance of the Integrated Farm Assurance standard into Walmart’s biodiversity benchmark.
“GLOBALG.A.P. is pleased to confirm that farms certified to the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standard for Crops will automatically meet Walmart’s new biodiversity requirements,” said Elmé Coetzer-Boersma, GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director overseeing standards. “We are proud to engage in collaborative efforts such as the RPM Framework that enables supply chain actors – from farm to retail – to join forces in tackling environmental challenges pragmatically and effectively. This is a significant step in the global protection of pollinators.”
“As a company that works with so many suppliers and brands, we appreciate GLOBALG.A.P.’s robust certification because it helps suppliers meet pest management and food safety requirements in a single audit,” said Anabella de Freeman, Sr. Manager of Sustainability and Strategic Initiatives in Produce for Walmart.
Farms with IFA certificates will benefit
Early adopters, including farms with GLOBALG.A.P. IFA certification, will already be in compliance with Walmart U.S.’s new requirement to have IPM practices verified by a third party by 2025. Farmers supplying Walmart U.S. and choosing GLOBALG.A.P.’s IFA standard will now have the added benefit of meeting Walmart’s food safety and biodiversity requirements with a single audit and certificate.
“GLOBALG.A.P. recognizes that meeting many different supply chain compliance requirements can put a strain on farmers,” said Coetzer-Boersma. “We are committed to working with industry to ensure our certification solutions provide streamlined options for farmers while satisfying market needs. Our IFA standard does exactly this for supply chains around the globe.”
GLOBALG.A.P. is a leading global certification program whose mission is to bring farmers and retailers together to produce and market safe food, to protect scarce resources, and to build a sustainable future. www.globalgap.org