KENYA – Kenyan fresh food producer and exporter Kakuzi Plc, has received a global certification confirming that it’s Avocado and Blueberry farming operations adhere to sustainable approaches to water resources management.
The Listed Agri-business firm has received the GLOBALG.A.P. “SPRING” Certificate of Conformity, a farm-level certification that helps producers, retailers, and traders demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water management.
According to Kakuzi Plc Managing Director Mr Chris Flowers, the firm received the certificate to add to its existing GLOBALG.A.P. Good Agricultural Practices accreditation.
last year it received the GLOBALG.A.P. version 5.2 certificate. Kakuzi PLC has also secured several local and international operating accreditations’ including the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) Diamond Mark of Quality and the FSSC 22000 Food Safety Management systems.
“Following a series of intensive onsite audits undertaken by United Kingdom-based NSF Certification UK Ltd inspectors at the Kakuzi Avocado and Blueberry production sites in Murang’a County, the firm has secured the SPRING certificate of conformity which will remain active for the next one year,” Flowers said.
He added that at its avocado and blueberry sites, Kakuzi deploys advanced precision irrigation systems, including micro-sprinklers for avocado watering powered by an elaborate information technology system.
“At our avocado and blueberry orchards’, we continue to bank on technology enabling water conservation and efficient agricultural production,” Flowers said.
What the SPRING certification spells out
Under the SPRING – Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use certification program, food system stakeholders are expected to provide evidence documenting their efforts to manage water risks and promote sustainable practices.
The certification program is a farm-level add-on that helps producers, retailers, and traders demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water management and can be implemented together with the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standard for Crops.
It incorporates a wide range of criteria to assess sustainable water management on the farm, including legal conformity of water sources and extraction rates, monitoring of water consumption, the impact of producers on sustainable watershed management, best practices in water management, protection of water sources and measures to demonstrate continuous improvement of water management.
The SPRING add-on was originally developed by the Swiss retailer Coop in 2016 in collaboration with GLOBALG.A.P. The ownership of the standard was officially transferred to GLOBALG.A.P. in July 2019.
GLOBALG.A.P. is a brand of smart farm assurance solutions developed by Food PLUS GmbH in Cologne, Germany, with cooperation from producers, retailers, and other stakeholders from across the food industry.
These solutions include a range of standards for safe, socially and environmentally responsible farming practices.
The most widely used GLOBALG.A.P. standard is Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA), applicable to fruit and vegetables, aquaculture, floriculture, livestock, and more.
This standard also forms the basis for the GGN label: The consumer label for certified, responsible farming and transparency.
The GLOBAL G.A.P. brand began its journey as EUREPGAP in 1997.Twenty-five years later, over 200,000 producers have GLOBALG.A.P. certification in 134 countries.
Nearly 150 team members worldwide are dedicated to spreading responsible farming practices to ensure safe food for future generations.