April 2020 – New rules are in force in the realm of Integrated Tobacco Production and its Certification. The Specific Technical Standard (STS) for the Integrated Tobacco Production System, devised by the Operational and Technical Committee, presents some new procedures in compliance with Decree Nº 443, from the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro), comprising production, harvest and the post-harvest phase (warehousing, commercialization and processing).
Some aspects refer to the compulsory requirement of maintaining the Responsible Technician (RT) whose professional qualification is subject to review every five years, along with periodic evaluations of the training needs of the rural workers, day laborers and temporary workers involved. There is also the recommendation to evaluate the need for annually updating the technical qualifications of the assistance teams.
To obtain the certification, the requirement to introduce best soil conservation practices was improved, in compliance with the needs and demands of each area. Furthermore, soil analyses of the tobacco growing areas shall be conducted at least every five years.
The evaluation of the pesticide residues has turned into the target of more specific operationalization. The document sets forth that the auditor should randomly select the result of residue analyses conducted by the processing company, or by its importers, to verify its compliance with the international patterns. Residue analyses should equally be conducted whenever there is need to corroborate unintentional pesticide drift, or as a result of equivocal or improper use of pesticides.
With regard to the audits, the IP Tobacco document sets forth that there should be at least one audit at field level at every crop year. And that the farmers to be audited can be gathered in individual form or by groups, in compliance with the parameters established by legislation in force and by the IP Tobacco program.
“The certification represents benefits for all those involved in the supply chain. For the farmers, we are talking about chances to reduce production costs, differentiated product and assurance of market continuity. And for the industries, the certification means recognition of a sustainable crop and a competitive differential in the global market”, says Iro Schünke, president of the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco).
KNOW MORE – The IP Tobacco program is the opportunity to certify that the crop was obtained in a safe and sustainable manner. It is in fact an official program of the Brazilian government set forth by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (Mapa), with the aim to ensure product traceability and safety for consumption. With the certification it becomes viable to corroborate the origin and the methods used in the generation of the products, through formal and auditable records, on sustainability principles and their relation with environmental, social and economic demands.
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