Quality and security

The Belgian vegetable processing industry and wholesalers have - in collaboration with the other partners within the platform of the trade in and processing of plant origin raw material and products and the farmers' unions - developed the Vegaplan standard. This offers to the farmers a tool to be audited and certified with a product certificate (EN45011) and to organise a complete culture registration. In 2014 a chapter on sustainability and IPM has been added to the standard.

This approach offers the guarantee in relation to the raw material in the sector. The elements related to the food and plant safety in the Vegaplan standard have been recognised by the Belgian food safety agency as the self checking guideline for the vegetal primary sector. The competent Flemish and Walloon services have also recognised the Vegaplan certificate in the framework of the IPM obligations.

In the meantime an equivalence has been agreed between the ICQM standard and the Dutch (Food safety certificate arable crops and industry vegetables) and German ( QS - 'Qualität und Sicherheit') quality systems for the primary production.

The French producers have registered themselves in the Belgian database of Vegaplan in anticipation of an own French system.

These quality systems allow a smooth circulation to the quality systems on company level and provide 100 % traceability. The control on the parameter contaminants is foreseen in the sampling scheme on company level, in the framework of the legally obliged self checking system.

The Vegaplan standard, managed by Vegaplan.be, helps farmers to keep their parcel registration on specific developed documents. To inform farmers about the current legislation related to the sustainable usage of plant protection products, Vegebe collaborates with KDT (Kenniscentrum Duurzame Tuinbouw) which provides the sector with a continuous actualised database of recognised plant protection products.

The processing and trade companies dispose fir their part of certificats of private quality systems such as BRC or IFS. A number of them also dipose of a self checking certificate, based upon the guide for the trade and processing industry fruit, vegetables and potatoes, recognised by the Belgian food safety agency.