USDA to Expand Group Food Safety Certification for Small Growers
Farmers who want to sell their produce in certain markets, such as big-box stores, have to get certain food safety certifications, but not everyone can afford to scale up. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is trying to help.
An increasing number of retailers require their suppliers to have Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, which verifies that the farm follows industry-recognized food safety practices and recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They focus on the best practices for producing, packing, handling and storing fruits and vegetables in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.