Global GAP aims to change the changing attitude of management and workers focused "only on the production side" in order to realize the impact of their activities on consumers, business and the environment and advise farmers to follow a minimum standard of performance with clearly defined criteria in order to stop or mitigate any adverse effects of that the production processes may have.
The standard is based on the risk analysis process from the production of "seeds" stage to the "product delivery to customers", covering every stage that takes place in a unitary agricultural business.
The standard can not be applied to activities from unit storage, packing or transport outside farms.
Global GAP standard is published on a module based schema with slightly different versions for fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, flowers and ornamental plants and combined crops (cereals and pulses). There is also a version that ensures integrated insurance for farms with competing activities such as meat, cereals, and which do production on the same holding.
Global GAP standards require intense reviews regarding employee training, documents registration, management revaluation, working methods and outcomes but also annual inspections for farms regarding working methods and working papers by external auditors. For fruit and vegetable growers, the failure of one of the 49 major requirements, or 95% of the 96 Minor lead to refusal or to certificate suspension.
There are also 66 Recommended requirements, compliance with them is not mandatory, but the manufacturer must be able to demonstrate that were taken into account during production planning.