Smiley scheme in Europe
The food regulations in Europe does not have a “happy face” like what Danes do. However, they have Global G.A.P as their standard for food safety. The inspection items are similar to the “scheme” in Denmark. Meanwhile, they have an environmental labeling system named “Ecolabel”, which covers a wider ranger of products.
A. Food regulations in Europe : Global G.A.P
Global G.A.P standard1 – it aims to change the attitudes of farm management and farm workers from being purely production oriented to being fully aware of the impacts their operation has on their customers, social and natural environments. They need to mitigate any adverse effects of their production processes.
Global G.A.P requires strong internal controls, documented risk analysis by management, intensive employee training, meticulous record keeping, and annual on-farm inspections of work methods and paperwork by external auditors, using the current fourth version of the 233-question checklist. For fruit and vegetable growers, failure to meet one of 94 major requirements or 95% of the 117 minor requirements will result in certification being suspended rendering the farm unable to sell to customers who insist on compliance.
The regime is run according to the ISO 62 and ISO 65 guidelines for certification schemes. Auditors, both internal and external, must have undergone training according to the rules for the ISO 9000 Quality Management or ISO 14000 Environmental Management standards. Certification organizations and their employees are required to undergo periodic refreshment training, and are supervised by the national accreditation body in each country. The American National Standards Institute monitors certification bodies based in the US.
B. Scope of inspection : Global G.A.P
Questions are graded into three levels of importance: "Majors,‟ which are mandatory; "Minors,‟ which can sometimes be failed so long as 95% of the remainder are complied with; and "Recommendations,‟ which are optional.
Every farm has to fulfill requirements drawn from the following areas of concern:
2. Record Keeping and Internal Self-Inspection
3. Varieties and Rootstocks
4. Site History and Site Management
5. Soil and Substrate Management
6. Fertilizer Use
8. Crop Protection
10. Produce Handling
11. Waste and Pollution Management, Recycling, and Re-Use
12. Worker Health, Safety, and Welfare
13. Environmental Issues
14. Complaint Forms
C. Framework for food safety : Europe VS United States
The EU legal framework for food safety issues is different from that of the US. Collaboration of European commercial entities at an industry level is legal and does not violate EU anti-trust laws. Such a joint effort would be legally impossible in the US. There is an EU Food Safety Authority, but this is primarily an inspection and consultative body, and does not administer any certification scheme.
D. Environmental labelling system : Ecolabel
The European Union Ecolabel is a voluntary environmental labelling system. It enables consumers to recognise high quality eco-friendly products. All of the products and services that display the EU Ecolabel have been designed to ensure their main environmental impacts are reduced throughout the product‟s life-cycle. This includes every stage of the product‟s life, from the extraction of raw materials, to production, packaging and transport, right though to how you use and dispose of it.
To be awarded the EU Ecolabel, products and services have to comply with environmental criteria that are set by panels of stakeholders and assessed by independent experts.
Range of product groups:
-Soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners
-Detergents for dishwashers
-Industrial and Institutional
-Automatic Dishwasher Detergents
-Hand dishwashing detergents
-Industrial and Institutional Laundry detergents
-Paints and varnishes
-Growing media* and soil improvers (*materials in which plants can grow excluding soil)
-Copy and graphic paper
-Tourist accommodation services