ACFS and Standards Establishment
Agricultural commodity and food standards are used as references for manufacturing, trade, exports and imports and certifications, are rather done on voluntary than compulsory basis because people see the benefits of harmonization, their production standards to international accepted. However if necessities on consumer health or export competitiveness arise, they may soon be made compulsory. Although there are no existing laws demanding mandatory safety standards for food and agriculture commodity, ACFS can ask for cooperation from other authorized bodies to pass such laws. For instance, ACFS could ask the Food and Drug Administration to pass a law that specifies levels of toxic residues. However ACFS will always listen to opinions from all steakholders before it passes any standard, either voluntarily or compulsorily.
Any standard set by ACFS will cover all elements of safety and hygiene of human beings, animals and plants and qualifications of specific consumer product's both food and non-food. Among standardizations are Good Agricultural Practice or GAP, toxic residues standards, and method for identification of animal disease. ACFS divides its standardizations into three categorie's commodity standards, practice system standards and general safety standards.
Commodity Standards are set as national references for production, domestic and international trade, and guarantees of products. The standards cover both safety and qualifications of products that consumers need or minimum qualification of basic agriculture commodities such as those of jasmine rice, durian, mangoes, asparagus, orchids, beef, pork, fish, etc.
System standards are designed to be the criteria to assess and certify manufacturer's practices from farms to packing houses or factories including primary processors such as abattoirs and millers. Among these standards are Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) or Good Hygienic Practice (GHP). Such standards can be used as benchmarks for people involved such as farmers, distributors, or factories so that they can be assured that they will get agriculture commodities or food that are safe and in accordance with the all standards. Among manufacturing standards announced in 2004 were GAP for Food Crops,? GAP for Bee Farm's and Requirements for Wood Packaging for Export, which are set as references that these wood packaging have been through proper process to eliminate all pests.
General safety standards are specifically designed for safety and sanitation of animals and plants, which are imposed on agriculture commodities and all kinds of food, for example, Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for pesticide maximum limit (ML) for contamination standards, standards on samplings and analysis, or standards on autopsies.