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Eurepgap Fruit and Vegetables, Rauber, EUREPGAP, Germany

The normative document for certification, “EUREPGAP Fruit and Vegetables”, has been
developed from a World-Wide group of representatives at all stages in the fruit and vegetable
supply chain. Started as an initiative by retailers in 1997, in response to consumer concerns and
the principal of “certified once accepted everywhere”, the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group
(EUREP) now is steered by an elected committee with equal representation from producers and
retailers. With wide consultation over three-years, In addition to the meetings, more than 1000
people from more than 25 countries attended our conferences in 1999, 2000 and 2001 (more
information under ).

Technical input from certification bodies on compliance criteria and practical experience from
field trials in several countries were used to shape the document, of which all development
versions were made public through the own EUREP website
( )

The EHI-EuroHandelsinstitut e.V., a not for profit industry research and education institute in
Cologne, Germany, acted as international secretariat until March 2001. Then the EHI founded an
independent wholly owned subsidiary, the FoodPLUS GmbH, also on a not for profit basis and
located in Cologne took over the secretariat and now serves as legal owner of the normative

In January 2001, all retailer and supplier members of EUREPGAP set-up a formalised
representative decision making structure for EUREPPGAP A Steering Committee and a
Technical Standard Committee were created and given the responsibility for the continuous
review process of the documents and procedures, (next protocol version January 2004) more
information: .

Initially the secretariat contracted certification bodies in several countries to start a non-
accredited certification process - , the objective of
EUREPGAP is to lead the entire system to an ISO65/EN 45011-based accredited certification
system to insure integrity and consistency. Early informal contacts with individual accreditation
bodies during year 2000 helped to develop the strategy so that the first accredited certificates
could be announced in June 2001.

EUREPGAP is in the process of developing global reference standards across the entire
agricultural sector. Working groups (open to all) are established for the main livestock species
(including input sectors such as feedstuffs) combinable crops and ornamentals. The unique
Benchmarking process developed by EUREPGAP to ISO65 criteria enables existing best
practice to be recognised so that equivalence can be judged objectively and allow mutual
recognition. This is particularly relevant in a global market place where food safety scares know
no boundaries and there is a need to achieve a level playing field.