QAFP is an open system, which means that the certification procedure is voluntary and participation depends on the production plant, farmer or distributor. However, in order to receive a QAFP certificate it is necessary to complete the obligatory certification process, which covers a range of recommendations and norms relating to individual stages of production, as well as to report on progress and current situation on an ongoing basis.
At the application stage, producers have to provide detailed documentation on their plant and its operations. After signing an agreement with bodies responsible for ensuring QAFP compliance, the producer is obliged to engage in activities confirming implementation of strict QAFP standards, such as:
- animal welfare, including the right feeding and rearing conditions,
- the right facilities for the animals, such as appropriate ventilation and lighting,
- strict hygiene and sanitary standards at the slaughter, cutting and processing stage,
- transport that respects animal welfare and meets technical requirements,
- modern and sterile packing methods and detailed meat labelling,
- adequate warehousing and sale conditions.
An integral component of the certification process is constant supervision by a veterinarian, who has an obligation to monitor all production areas. The system guarantees efficient supervision over producers at all stages of production – from farm to fork – any deviations from the established standards result in failing the certification process or losing the right to use the QAFP mark.
In order to ensure that high production standards are always maintained, entities applying for a QAFP certificate have an obligation to keep detailed production records and to consent to regular inspections and audits carried out by the certification body. At the end of the process the applicant receives a certificate and signs an agreement with the National Poultry Council on the use of the QAFP mark.