GAP Good Agricultural Practices

GAP Good Agricultural Practices

Governing Organization

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

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Assessment Type

Third party assessed by verified bodies

Sectors Covered

Food, Beverage and Agriculture

Issues Covered

Carbon, CSR, Environmental Management, Ethical Trade, Food Safety, Waste and Chemicals Management, Water Related, Worker Safety


A multiplicity of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulations have been developed in recent years by the food industry and producers organizations but also governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities. Their purpose varies from fulfilment of trade and government regulatory requirements (in particular with regard to food safety and quality), to more specific requirements of specialty or niche markets. The objective of these GAP codes, standards and regulations include, to a varying degree: ensuring safety and quality of produce in the food chain; capturing new market advantages by modifying supply chain governance; improving natural resources use, workers health and working conditions, and/or creating new market opportunities for farmers and exporters in developing countries.  Good Agricultural Practices are practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products (FAO COAG 2003 GAP paper).  These four pillars of GAP (economic viability, environmental sustainability, social acceptability and food safety and quality) are included in most private and public sector standards, but the scope which they actually cover varies widely.

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