Consumers and retailers increasingly demand transparency of growers’ practices for food safety and sustainability. Consequently, the average fruit grower that wants to export to Europe has to comply with GlobalG.A.P., one or two social standards and a number of additional buyers requirements. The yearly costs for this level of compliance can easily add up to €10,000 a year, per grower. Collected compliance data often resides with 3rd parties and data re-use is minimal.
Although standards for safe and sustainable food covers similar issues, asking for the same pieces of evidence, standardisation in data gathering is limited. This significantly increases the overhead for all chain players, where the same data is entered several times into different systems, with broadly the same purpose. This inefficiency of data exchange is the key problem addressed by this Public Private Partnership. Enhancing the entry and use of data, rather than harmonizing compliance requirement per se, is central.
Costa Rica and South Africa are major fruit supplying countries for the European market and important for the European economy. For crops like table grapes and melon The Netherlands is the key export partner. An emerging issue in these fresh chains is the complexity and administrative burden of compliance to food safety and sustainability standards.