Group Integrity: PROFESSIONALISING GROUP CERTIFICATION
What is it?
Group Integrity is a web-based tool for the professional management of internal control systems. It prepares grower groups and companies sourcing from small-scale farmers optimally for external audits and for the certification against private and public standards.
Why do we need a tool to professionalise group certification?
90 percent of all farms worldwide are run by smallholders who produce a substantial proportion of the world’s food. Their inclusion in international markets is contributing to a sustainable development and essential to local and global food supplies at the same time. An important measure to facilitate their market entry is group certification for international standards like Organic, Fair Trade, Utz, GlobalGAP, Rainforest Alliance, ProPlanet, etc. But a group of farmers can only be certified as a single production unit if they can prove that they have a well-functioning and reliable internal control system (ICS) in place. To do so, professional audit and certification tools like Group Integrity are needed.
Who can use it?
Group Integrity can be used by either self-organised grower groups or by businesses who source from smallholders through contract farming.
Why should you use it?
Group certification is the answer to the fact that not every single small-scale farmer can be certified against international quality standards such as Organic or Fair Trade. But the requirements for a group to be certified are high.. Group Integrity helps you to meet these requirements. It is an affordable tool that facilitates and stabilises the management of internal control systems and allows grower groups to transform into well-structured, transparent and reliable market entities. Businesses sourcing from contract farmers can use it to improve their internal audit and certification procedures. This way, they can prove that the criteria for international quality standards are met whilst sourcing from small-scale farmers. Overall, using Group Integrity greatly increases the likeliness of successful certification for both self-managed grower groups and for businesses with contract farming. For both user groups, applying Group Integrity means to streamline the organisation, to save on expenses and to improve economics.
How does it work?
Group Integrity facilitates the administration, preparation and demonstration of group compliance with quality standards towards auditors and third-party certification bodies. The system needs web access only and requires no installation package or software. Information can easily be entered, exported, processed and shared. The system can also automatically send notifications and reminders. It offers pre-set checklists as well as individual checklists to accommodate your specific requirements. User rights, roles and views can be set according to data privacy requirements whilst data security is guaranteed by a professional data hosting centre that fully complies with the latest EU data protection act. Group Integrity can be adjusted according to your needs and is updated on a regular basis. The tool is currently available in English, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese. If economically feasible, further language versions can be added.
Where can I find more information?
Visit us at BIOFACH 2020 in Hall 1, stall 653
Check our website www.group-integrity.com