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GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Certification

Demonstrate high production standards and gain access to international buyers with an IFA certification.

Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) is a global standard that ensures safe and responsible farming practices. It’s part of the portfolio of GLOBALG.A.P., a farm assurance solutions brand with thirty years of experience developing independent certification systems for Good Agricultural Practices.

As a GLOBALG.A.P. approved certification body, NSF provides auditing and certification services for the following IFA schemes:

IFA for Fruit and vegetables

IFA for fruit and vegetables covers over 600 species and is currently adopted by almost 200,000 producers in 134 countries. The scheme is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is aligned with the UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals.

IFA for aquaculture

Currently, over 2.5 million metric tons of 35 farmed seafood species are produced in IFA-certified facilities every year. IFA for aquaculture is recognized by GFSI and the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative. It’s also aligned with the FAO’s (Food and Agriculture Organization) Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification and with the Aquatic Animal Health Code of the World Organization for Animal Health.

IFA for flowers and ornamentals

IFA for flowers and ornamentals covers the production processes of cut flowers, house plants, trees, bulbs, perennials, turf and more. It’s currently adopted by almost 2,500 producers in 50 countries. The scheme is part of the basket of standards of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), an industry-driven project that aims to develop transparency and responsible production in the floriculture supply chain.

IFA for combinable crops

IFA for combinable crops includes a wide range of machine-harvested crops such as grains, pulses, fodder and extracts (oil, sugar, starch, etc.) for food or feed applications. The certification is currently adopted by producers in 31 countries worldwide, with an extension of almost 240,000 hectares of cultivated land. It’s currently not available in the Americas.

IFA for plant propagation material

IFA for propagation material covers all major aspects of nursery production processes and is suitable for propagation materials (such as seeds, cuttings and roots) used for any product category under the scope of IFA schemes. The standard is currently adopted by almost 600 producers in 43 countries.

Five reasons to get an IFA certification

  1. Its global recognition helps producers demonstrate high production standards and gain access to new buyers and markets.
  2. With its holistic approach, it meets the growing concerns of consumers towards product safety, environmental sustainability of farming practices, and the health, safety and welfare of agriculture workers.
  3. It can be combined with other add-ons, certifications and supply chain solutions.
  4. It’s suitable for all stages of production, types of production systems and business sizes.
  5. It offers a modular approach that reduces the cost of compliance for mixed farming enterprises by avoiding multiple product audits.

The IFA atandard at a glance

The main elements of the IFA standard are core topics, control points and compliance criteria.

Core topics include different aspects of farming practices (these will vary depending on the scheme):

  • biodiversity and habitats
  • energy efficiency
  • food defense and food fraud mitigation
  • food safety and pest management
  • plant protection products
  • recall/withdrawal procedure
  • site history and site management
  • traceability
  • waste and pollution management, recycling and re-use
  • health, safety and welfare of workers.

Each topic is divided into several control points, which describe a fundamental requirement. Depending on their importance, control points can be a Major Must, a Minor Must or a Recommendation.

Each control point has compliance criteria describing the desired outcome.

To achieve certification, companies must comply with 100% of the Major Musts and at least 95% of the Minor Musts.

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Whether you plan to renew, upgrade or earn an IFA certification for the first time, get in touch with us today to tap into NSF's 75 years of expertise in food industry certifications.