We recently had our annual audit for verified natural and GAP certification. Every year we have to reapply after which they send an auditor to check on our operation. After the audit, the auditor gives their recommendation to IMI Global where they review it and can then approve our certifications.
The application is pretty involved. They ask about vaccination protocols, lameness, castration, weaning, feeding, etc. Then the auditor asks the same questions and checks our records. These records need to be maintained throughout the whole year. It really isn’t too much more than what we normally tracked before we started this process. Just a few minor details that we had to add. The paperwork portion of the audit usually takes a few hours.
After that we go and look at cattle. They want to make sure that the cows are in good shape and they have plenty to eat. They verify how they are identified. Our working facilities and horse trailers are also inspected to make sure they are safe for the cattle.
After we have been approved, we then purchase electronic ID tags for our steers. All this lets us sell our steers under the Verified Natural Beef and GAP 4 certification. Crazy, right? Now we are waiting for our final approval from IMI, but it is good to be done with the application and inspection.
I hope you all are staying safe and dry with all this spring weather.
by Brandon Greet