Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is the in-state partner with the USDA for the USDA Fresh Produce Audit Verification Program (GAP/GHP).
With the increasing focus on good agricultural practices to verify that farms are producing fruits and vegetables in the safest manner possible, third-party audits are being used by the retail and food service industry to verify their suppliers are using specific agricultural best practices. Since 1999, the Agricultural Marketing Service has been actively involved with the produce industry offering auditing services throughout the food chain to verify that best practices are being followed.
AMS, in partnership with state departments of agriculture, offers a voluntary, audit based program that verifies adherence to the recommendations made in the Food and Drug Administration's Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
The Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Program is broken down into three major sections:
- Good Agricultural Practices, which examines farm practices;
- Good Handling Practices, which concentrates on packing facilities, storage facilities and wholesale distribution centers; and
- Food Defense protocols utilized throughout the food chain.
For more information or to request an audit, contact:
Phone: (719) 852-4749