Good Agriculture and Collection Practice (GACP) comprises essential guidelines and principles crucial for ensuring the safety and quality of agricultural and collected products intended for medical usage. The way GACP works hinges upon procedures and processes that are designed to incorporate several pivotal components, being the 13 areas of GACP (noting that out of the 14 points in the EMA guide that item 1 is “Introduction”), namely:
- Quality Assurance;
- Personnel and Education;
- Buildings and Facilities;
- Seeds and Propagation material;
- Cultivation ;
- Primary processing;
- Packaging; and
- Storage and Distribution.
Firstly, the GACP process begins with the zoning of cultivation areas. By segregating crops based on their specific growth requisites and susceptibility to pests and diseases, the risk of contamination is significantly reduced while optimizing conditions for individual plants. Adequate spacing between zones further mitigates the spread of pests and diseases.
Water sources and irrigation systems should be good enough to drink, according to the GACP framework. The layout should prioritize the judicious use of potable water resources and embrace sustainable irrigation methods to conserve water while minimizing environmental impact. All discharged waste must undergo treatment before release. Additionally, implementing proper drainage systems is equally imperative to prevent waterlogging and root diseases. It is equally important to note that the standards for Thai GACP prevent the reuse of water, regardless of the treatment at the time of posting this article.
Proper drying and storage facilities are indispensable for preserving the quality of harvested products. GACP underscores the necessity for well-designed storage areas providing controlled conditions, including temperature and humidity, to uphold the freshness and nutritional value of crops. Efficient labeling and organization within these storage spaces facilitate seamless traceability and inventory management.
Furthermore, the general layout should include designated zones for destruction, waste disposal, and recycling. This encompasses responsible disposal of agricultural residues and material recycling to diminish environmental impact.
In summary, a well-structured GACP layout serves as the cornerstone for successful and sustainable agricultural practices. by minimizing traffic through clean rooms and ensuring that plants are properly looked after, and by addressing critical elements such as zoning, water management, storage, and waste disposal, we foresee that good farmers who adhere to best practices will easily achieve GACP Certification, thereby contributing to the production of high-quality, safe agricultural products.
To find out more on how to get started on GACP in Thailand, please complete our GACP Self-Assessment here: https://gacpasia.com/our-services/self-assessment/