BOPP launch new version of the Grower Standard

BOPP, the certification scheme for ornamental horticulture in the UK, has released a new version of the Grower Standard (previously known as UKAS Grower Standard). The new standard has achieved equivalent status to the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard Edition 4.0. The achievement of benchmarking to GLOBALG.A.P. demonstrates that the BOPP Grower Standard sets internationally accepted safe and sustainable good agricultural practice.

Announcing the news, Anna Cook, BOPP Scheme Manager says ?We are pleased to release the new version of the BOPP Grower Standard following eighteen months of intensely reviewing the requirements. The achievement of GLOBALG.A.P. equivalency is very significant for the BOPP Scheme as it demonstrates we set internationally accepted good agricultural practices, which are a minimum standard for many multiple retailers. The new standard introduces criteria for senior management commitment, managing suppliers, labelling procedures, crisis planning, sustainability and ethical trading standards.

As well as introducing new requirements we have reviewed the level of compliance moving a number of criteria from minor to major, which will make the inspection more challenging to pass. The order of the standard has been re-worked to follow a more logical flow and wording has been harmonised with the packhouse standard to assist members who are certificated to both standards. To assist members to gain certification we have added technical guidance notes to the standard and will be providing a number of templates on the BOPP website.?

BOPP is an international standard, which sets high requirements of professionalism in the way in which certificated businesses operate and through unbiased and effective evaluation (by an United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited Certification Body where applicable) to ensure that these standards are maintained. The ultimate objective is to ensure that customers can have complete confidence in both product and service when dealing with BOPP Certificated suppliers.

The BOPP standards are reviewed every three to four years and the release of the new Grower Standard is the result of eighteen months work by the BOPP Management Committee to update the standard and benchmark to the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA Standard. The committee have worked closely with stakeholders, including UK multiple retailers and the inspectors, to ensure that the standard continues to meet the needs of the sector. The release of the standard will be accompanied by a toolbox of templates and guidance notes available to members only to assist them with meeting the requirements of the standard. Members will have three months from the release of the new standard to make the transition from version 1 to version 2.

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