The Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) update on Covid-19 can be found via this link . HortNZ is closely monitoring the COVID-19 coronavirus situation and its potential impact on the horticulture industry. The situation is constantly evolving. Please keep an eye on the HortNZ newsletter as well as our website’s homepage. What follows is our latest updates.


Level 2 implications for GAP certification and Food Act | 18th May 2020

Food Act 2014

On-site verifications are now permitted at Level 2 if completed alongside a recognised GAP audit, with appropriate safety measures in place. The on-site time will be minimised by availing of the off-site audit modules (e.g. sending documents and records to the auditor prior to the site visit) for NZGAP and GLOBALG.A.P.


NZGAP certification continues to be provided remotely under Level 2 via online registration, renewal and certification processes. Printed certificates and implementation manuals will be posted out when staff return to the HortNZ office. NZGAP audits will continue to be carried out on-site (with off-site checking of documentation and records), or using the newly developed remote option during level 2. 


GLOBALG.A.P. has launched a new “GLOBALG.A.P. remote” option which enables remote audits with immediate effect. GLOBALG.A.P. Remote is available to NZ growers, but cannot be used for the latest version (version 5.3-GFS) as remote audits are not currently accepted for GFSI recognised standards. GLOBAG.A.P. audits will continue to be carried out on-site (with off-site checking of documentation and records) during level 2.

Useful links:


Check grower certification:

Key contacts:

Who Email
AsureQuality (NZGAP)
AsureQuality (GLOBALG.A.P.)


Remote NZGAP Audits commence | 5th May 2020

AsureQuality and SGS have commenced NZGAP audits using the recently finalised rules and checklist for remote audits during the Covid-19 response. Papakura based tomato grower, Anthony Tringham was the first grower to be remotely audited and he said that the process went incredibly smoothly. Read the full HortNZ article here 

NZGAP Remote Audit module finalised | 17th April 2020

NZGAP has developed temporary rules and a checklist  to enable off-site (document checks) and remote audits (interview and visual evidence of implementation) during the Covid-19 response. NZGAP audits have been continuing on-site during lockdown with appropriate safety measures in place, but this new temporary measure enables on-site time to be minimised (via off-site checks) or even elimitated (via remote checks).  The NZGAP Remote module enables the continued provision of credible certification of safe and sustainable horticulture produce, while complementing growers’ adoption of new health and safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

NZGAP and GLOBALG.A.P. certification during lockdown  | 27th March 2020


NZGAP is fully operational in a remote capacity and will continue to provide certification services to growers going forward. Key points for growers are:


NZGAP registration and renewal

  • Follow usual processes for registration and renewal
  • Growers are advised to complete forms online via or via email to given the team are working remotely.
  • Growers are advised to make payments online via internet banking as HortNZ cannot process cheques during the lockdown
  • Electronic (pdf) certificates will now be issued and emailed to holders in place of paper certificates which are usually posted (these will however be printed and posted after lockdown) 

NZGAP Audits

  • Food Safety audits are considered ‘essential service’
  • NZGAP audits from AsureQuality and SGS are continuing as scheduled with social distancing requirements in place
  • NZGAP off-site audit module development is being fast-tracked to minimise auditor time on-site.
  • NZGAP is working with AsureQuality and SGS on development and implementation of remote audit capabilities (more information on this soon).


NZGAP certificate extension of up to 5 months

  • Growers can request an extension of up to 5 months for existing NZGAP certification by emailing 
  • When renewal is eventually completed, the certification anniversary date will revert to the original anniversary date (plus 1 year).



  • Food Safety audits are considered ‘essential service’
  • GLOBALG.A.P. audits from AsureQuality and SGS are continuing as scheduled with social distancing requirements in place

GLOBALG.A.P. certificate validity may be extended beyond the 12 months, for a maximum period of 6 months. This can be done based on a risk assessment (conducted by AsureQuality or SGS), which has to be recorded.  

These are the only reasons that are considered valid:

  • AsureQuality or SGS wants to schedule the on-site inspection/audit after the certificate has expired in order to observe a certain part of the production process, because it has not been seen in the previous inspection/audit, because it is considered a high-risk process in terms of product safety, or to be able to see a newly added product, process or a new or particular member of a producer group. 
  • AsureQuality or SGS needs to be able to extend some certificates because of resource restraints. 
  • AsureQuality or SGS was not able to conduct the on-site inspection/audit and/or the producer was not able to receive the inspection audit due to circumstances beyond its control (force majeure) e.g. natural disaster, political instability in the region, epidemic/pandemic, or unavailability of the producer due to medical reasons. There is no need to support the decision allowing for a certificate extension based on the aforementioned criteria by a remote inspection/audit. 


The certificate cannot be extended: 

  • If the inspector/auditor is able to conduct the on-site audit.
  • If the producer’s reasoning not to receive the inspection/audit is not justified. 
  • If there is no on-going production and no product to be sold and the expected next harvest will not start before the end of the potential 6-month extension.
  • If the producer did not reconfirm with AsureQuality or SGS that they will continue with the certification after the extension.
  • If there is a complaint against the producer where the investigation requires an on-site revisit.

Additional reasons not to extend the validity may be added based on regular review.  

Crop extension (adding a new crop) is possible only if the new crop belongs to the same crop grouping (in terms of harvest and handling) as already certified. This procedure is also applicable to all add-ons that are assessed in combination with GLOBALG.A.P. standards.  

Further updates from GLOBALG.A.P.