Why creating a European Interpretation Version of ProTerra Standard?

The first webinar on this theme, held on Sep 4th, besides providing overall information about ProTerra Foundation and ProTerra Foundation Standard, v. 4.0, also discussed about the importance of having regional interpretations of this new standard, and presented some technical aspects related to it.

Emese Brosz, one of the presenters and ProTerra Foundation Managing Director, listed the main reasons why regional interpretations of the standard are necessary:

  • To help business engage;
  • To help stakeholders gain confidence in the practices associated to products coming from regions with a diverse reality than theirs and
  • To implement, over time, a sustainable approach to their activities.

Qualitative Risk Approach

Dr. Alice Correa Ferlin, external consultant to the Certification and Standard Committee, went through more technical aspects of the European Interpretation, starting with the Qualitative Risk Approach, adopted by ProTerra Foundation, which is based on:

  1. Potential presence of GMO in a crop and
  2. Potential of negative environmental and social aspects of agricultural activity in a given European country or region.

Bearing in mind a specific result, a set of ProTerra principles, criteria and indicators will apply or not, to a farmer or a producer. Furthermore, consideration of risk is highly based on the Guideline on the Definition of “GMO-Free Production” of Food and its Labelling, published in the Austrian Condex Alimentarius.[1]

Farms are assigned a production area risk level based on their geographical location and associated GMO risk:

  • No Risk (NR)
  • Low Risk (LR);
  • Medium Risk (MR);
  • High Risk (HR).

When a specific GMO risk is identified in the country of interest, then, it is necessary to understand what ProTerra indicators apply to that country.

For Environmental and Social Risks, ProTerra has opted to apply the risk approach defined in amofori BSCI’s Country [2] Risk Classification. Countries are then classified as either risk countries or low-risk countries.

In summary, the level of these risks will determine what specific requirements of ProTerra will apply or not.  And, the specific risk will also define the sampling requirement and the certification that is being required.

To finalize, Emese described the ongoing benchmarking efforts and/or mutual recognition agreements under discussion, as a ProTerra Foundation effort to finding synergies and encouraging cooperation:

  • FSA
  • Vive Program (sugar cane)
  • Smartcane BMP (Australia)
  • VLOG (for non-GMO)
  • Bonsucro (cane)

You can download the recording of this webinar and learn more details about the ProTerra European Interpretation:

➡️ http://bit.ly/2NQ8MkD

The document, ProTerra Standard – Interpretation for Europe (Version 1.0) can be found at:

➡️ http://bit.ly/2ZN4lxl

Do not hesitate in contacting us with comments, questions or suggestions:





[1] http://www.fao.org/3/v7700t/v7700t09.htm

[2] https://www.amfori.org/content/amfori-bsci