Shwapno, the largest retail chain in Bangladesh, has been awarded the GLOBALG.A.P certificate recently.
GLOBALG.A.P is an international organisation that works to ensure the standard of food safety across the world.
After completing all the tests and formalities supervised by their audit committee, Shwapno received the certificate, read a press release.
Shwapno is the first and only retail chain in South-East Asia that has become a GLOBALG.A.P certified member and the only Bangladeshi company to gain such recognition.
The GLOBALG.A.P certificate is awarded after testing the food safety standards of agricultural products. SGI India Private Limited begins the multi-step process by auditing. After completing all the tests, Shwapno received the certificate on 16 February.
Shwapno Executive Director Sabbir Hasan Nasir said, "Shwapno is the first GLOBALG.A.P Certified retailer in South- East Asia. This is a matter of great pride and relief for us. I would like to thank our farmers, USAID, and GLOBALG.A.P for helping us gain this achievement. The standard of seven certified products ensures how serious Shwapno is about maintaining food safety. We always identify the most impactful dreams and we try to make these dreams come true.
"We would also like to express our gratitude to our customers for putting their trust in us."
Mahadi Faisal, the head of marketing for Shwapno, explained, "We have the wrong notion about pesticides or herbicides. Farmers here refer to them as poison. In fact, a lot of people use this notion to do business claiming that they sell poison-free fruits and vegetables. However, in reality, these pesticides or herbicides are medicines for plants.
"Research has shown that almost 75% of our farmers are not familiar with the correct use of these medicines. This is where the problem lies. Correctly using plant medicines and maintaining the PHI (pre-harvest interval) fall within the regulations and that is what we do. Shwapno is very dedicated to ensuring food safety for its customers. The GLOBALG.A.P certificate is the result of that effort. This is a great source of joy for us."
It must be noted that Shwapno first began working with GLOBALG.A.P with the help of the AVC (Agricultural Value Chains) project run by the international development agency USAID in 2017. GLOBALG.A.P.is an international organization that follows a strict set of rules and criteria to give recognition to companies that produce and sell agricultural products. Retail stores in Europe and the US maintain the GLOBALG.A.P Standards.
Shwapno can now export products to Australia, the UAE, the US, and the UK as mentioned in the GLOBALG.A.P certificate. Shwapno has been buying agricultural products from its own trained farmers for many years. As a result, this has benefitted the farmers, buyers as well as customers.