Small and emerging producers now have an option that is called a cost-effective stepping stone toward full GlobalG.A.P certification.

The new option, called localg.a.p., will help producers gain cost-effective and gradual recognition by providing an entry level to GlobalG.A.P. certification, according to the website of the European-based organization.

GlobalG.A.P. is a non-profit global farm assurance/food safety program and operates in more than 100 countries.

Information about the localg.a.p. program is available online.

The localg.a.p. program, offered in two tiers called Foundation and Intermediate levels, helps retailers support local and regional producers and promote good agricultural practices, according to the group’s website. The Foundation level is suited for producers with few food safety risks and sell primarily on the local level, according to the website. The Intermediate level features stronger food safety criteria accepted by national retailers and is available for fruit and vegetable, livestock and aquaculture producers.

The localg.a.p. solution covers the minimum requirements for food safety and hygiene, and provides a subset of GlobalG.A.P. control points, a localg.a.p. checklist and general rules.according to the website.

Buyers interested in sourcing from localg.a.p.-assessed producers can download documents from the and pass them on to their producers for implementation, according to the website. To monitor their localG.A.P. producers, buyers can sign an agreement for observer status to gain access to the GlobalG.A.P. database, according to the website.