GlobalGAP Certification for Aquaculture

Aquaculture plays a crucial role in the provision of animal protein and income generation globally, involving the controlled breeding of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and algae. To meet the major challenges of this industry, international standards have been established, including the GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture, recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

What is GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture ?

GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture is an internationally recognized standard designed to promote respectful and sustainable aquaculture methods. It touches on crucial aspects such as food safety, water quality, biodiversity conservation and animal welfare. This standard is endorsed by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an independent body that certifies the reliability of food safety certification systems.

This food certification covers the entire aquaculture production chain, from hatchery to farm, including the transport and handling of animals. It concerns a wide variety of aquatic beings such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and algae, and adapts to various farming methods, whether in cages, ponds, ponds or via recirculation systems.

Based on a modular framework, GlobalGAP certification allows aquaculturists to select the right modules for their activity and target market. It comprises three key modules: the core module, establishing criteria common to all species and systems; the species-specific module; and the module dedicated to the specificities of each livestock system.

Affiliated with recognized certification bodies, the certification guarantees compliance with quality standards through regular audits and inspections. Valid for one year, the certification requires rigorous monitoring and renewal by the aquaculturist to remain in force.

Which organizations offer GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture ?

GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture is granted by independent certifying entities. These entities are accredited by renowned accreditation authorities. Their main role is to ensure that aquaculture producers meet the criteria established by the GlobalGAP standard. This is achieved through file audits and field inspections.

How to choose a certifying body ?

Here are some important aspects to consider when choosing your certifying body :

  • Accreditation validation : Verify that the organization is accredited for the GlobalGAP standard and for the aquaculture segment specific to your activity (such as the base, species or system module).
  • Geographic range : Ensure that the organization can conduct audits in your country or region, and that it has qualified professionals who speak your language.
  • Pricing : The organization must provide a transparent quote covering audit, certification, travel and taxes.
  • Reputation : It is preferable that the organization has a good reputation in the aquaculture sector and is recognized by your customers or partners.

What are the examples of certifying bodies ?

There are a variety of certifying bodies offering GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture around the world. Examples include :

  • AGFOCERT : First organization in Turkey accredited according to ISO/IEC 17065 for GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture. Also offers laboratory and training services.
  • LRQA : International certification body, offering GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture in more than 100 countries, with significant expertise in food security and sustainable development.
  • NSF : Certifying body in the United States, providing GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture in the United States and Canada, also specializing in testing, inspection and consulting services.

What are the specific requirements of GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture with my industry ?

GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture is designed to specifically adapt to various business sectors. It includes specific modules based on the type of aquatic organism reared and the rearing method used. These modules detail the unique requirements required for each species and farming system in addition to the basic module, which is universally applicable to all aquaculture producers.

What are the species modules ?

There are six species modules, covering the main categories of aquatic organisms raised globally :

  • Fish module : for freshwater and seawater fish, including salmon, trout, tilapia, pangasius, sea bream and sea bass.  
  • Crustacean module : for freshwater and seawater crustaceans, including shrimp, crab, lobster and lobster.  
  • Shellfish module : for freshwater and seawater shellfish, including mussels, oysters, clams, shellfish and squid.  
  • Algae module : for marine and freshwater algae, including spirulina, chlorella, nori, wakame and kombu.  
  • Ornamental module : for ornamental aquatic organisms, including fish, corals, anemones and aquatic plants.  
  • Abalone module : for abalone or abalone, which are edible marine molluscs.

What are the system modules ?

There are four system modules, targeting the main aquaculture farming methods :

  • Cage module : for cage-rearing systems, for placing organisms in floating cages or immersed in water bodies.  
  • Pond module : for pond rearing, using dug pools or natural water bodies.  
  • Pond module : for pond farming, in tanks or bins, often in concrete or plastic.  
  • Recirculated system module : for closed-loop livestock systems, recycling and treating water for continuous reuse.

To find out about the specific GlobalGAP certification requirements for your aquaculture sector, you can consult the relevant module documents available on the GlobalGAP documentation center. Do not hesitate to contact a certifying body to guide you through the certification process, or contact Yvea directly to assist you on this subject.

What are the steps to obtain GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture ?

To obtain a GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture, here are the main steps to take :

Step 1 : Choose a certifying body

The starting point is to select a certification body accredited specifically for the GlobalGAP standard and adapted to the aquaculture module of your field of activity. You can find the complete list of these organizations on the GlobalGAP website, through their search engine, or by soliciting recommendations from your colleagues or clients.

Step 2 : Prepare the audit

The next step is preparation for the audit, which assesses whether your operation meets the GlobalGAP criteria. You must immerse yourself in the standard documents available on the GlobalGAP Documentation Center and apply the actions required to meet the stated requirements.

It is also imperative to register on the GlobalGAP database, an online tool that facilitates the management of your certification and the dissemination of your information to your customers.

Step 3 : Perform the Audit

The third phase involves conducting the audit by an auditor affiliated with the certification body you previously selected. This audit is divided into two segments: document verification, examining documents related to your operation such as registers, invoices, contracts, analyses, and a site visit to analyze the farming conditions, infrastructure, equipment, aquaculture species, etc.

The duration of the audit varies from a few hours to several days depending on the size and complexity of your activity.

Step 4 : Obtain Certification

The final step is the acquisition of certification, following the successful completion of the audit. The certifying body then gives you a certificate confirming that your operation complies with the requirements of the GlobalGAP standard. This certificate is valid for 12 months and requires compliance with monitoring and renewal procedures to maintain its validity. At this point, you are allowed to affix the GlobalGAP logo to your products and communication media, opening the doors to new markets.

How much does a GlobalGAP certification cost for aquaculture ?

The cost of a GlobalGAP aquaculture certification varies according to several criteria: the size and complexity of the operation, the type of species farmed, the method of farming, the frequency and duration of audits, and the choice of certification body. Prices may also differ from country to country. It is therefore difficult to set a single price, but there is usually a range of costs.

Generally speaking, the expenses associated with a GlobalGAP aquaculture certification are divided into two main categories: the GlobalGAP membership fee and the certification fee itself, charged by the certification body.

GlobalGAP Membership Fees

Annual GlobalGAP membership entitles you to registration in the organization’s database, access to normative documents and GlobalGAP technical support. These costs are based on the number of production units, the number of species and the selected modules.

Membership fees, which are directly charged by GlobalGAP, range from €100 to €500 per year, depending on the size and diversity of the operation. A more accurate estimate can be obtained on the GlobalGAP website.

Certification fees by the certifying body

These fees, which vary depending on the certification body chosen, mainly cover audit costs. They include audit, certification, travel and any taxes, and are charged directly by the certification body.

The amount of these fees can vary from 500 to 5000 euros annually, depending on the frequency and duration of the audits, the location of the operation and the rates of the certification body. It is recommended to request a quote from the organization of your choice for an accurate estimate.

The total budget to obtain GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture can range from 600 to 5500 euros per year, depending on the specificities of your operation. This investment can prove profitable through opening up to new markets, minimising risks and improving overall operating performance.

How long does it take to get GlobalGAP certification for aquaculture ?

The time to acquire a GlobalGAP aquaculture certification is influenced by various parameters, including the preparation of your farm, access to the certification entity, the scope and number of audits required, the management of non-conformities, among others. Instead of a fixed time frame, this process encompasses a fluctuating time interval.

In general, this process is divided into two main phases: pre-audit and post-audit.

The time of pre-audit

This initial phase includes efforts to adjust your operation to GlobalGAP standards before requesting an audit. Depending on the initial degree of compliance of your site, the type of aquatic culture, the farming techniques used, and the complexity of the selected modules, this period can range from a few weeks to several months.

To optimize this step, use the normative documents available through GlobalGAP’s [documentation center] and self-assessment tools, which help assess your compliance level and identify needed improvements. Assistance from a consultant or training organization can also help you implement the practices required to align with the standards.

The time for post-audit

The post-audit phase represents the time between the completion of the audit and obtaining the certificate, provided that the audit is conclusive. This period can vary from a few days to several weeks, depending on the effectiveness of the certifier, the volume and severity of the non-conformities identified, as well as the treatment of any disputes.

To speed up the process, make sure you have prepared all the necessary documents for the audit, actively cooperate with the auditor during his visit, promptly rectify any identified non-compliance, and maintain effective communication with the certification body.

Obtaining GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture can therefore range from a few months to more than a year, depending on your specific case. Although it is a demanding journey, careful preparation and careful monitoring can greatly facilitate the process.

Renewal of GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture

The renewal of GlobalGAP certification in aquaculture is essential to ensure the continued compliance of aquaculture practices with the required high standards. This process involves regular audits, including monitoring and recertification audits, carried out by the certifying body.

Surveillance audits

Monitoring audits are used to verify continued compliance with GlobalGAP standards between recertification audits. These audits, which are shorter and less frequent than recertification audits, are nevertheless mandatory and can be carried out in an announced or unexpected manner. They shall take place at least once a year and shall be borne by the aquaculture producer as part of the certification fee.

Recertification audits

As for recertification audits, they represent a comprehensive assessment of compliance with GlobalGAP requirements as the current certificate nears expiry. These audits are always announced and must be held before the end of the 12-month certification period following the initial audit. Like surveillance audits, they are billed by the certifying body and form part of the certification fee.

The GlobalGAP certification renewal cycle therefore guarantees constant quality and safety of aquaculture products, thanks to rigorous monitoring of standards.

La procédure classique

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

1

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

2

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

3

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