What is GroupGAP?
Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) is an audit certification program created by the USDA and is based on guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration. GAP certification has increasingly become a requirement for retailers, making it difficult for small farmers to be able to sell their goods because of the rigor and cost required of traditional GAP certification.
GroupGAP is a new USDA food safety certification option that will increase opportunities for smaller farms to supply GAP-certified produce. This robust certification process addresses many challenges that small farms face in complying with food safety audits and meeting the demands of the retail, food service, and institutional buying community. GroupGAP makes food safety certification accessible for small and middle-sized producers by allowing farmers, food hubs, and other marketing organizations to work together to undergo GAP certification as a group. The program will build a network of farms that share safety, quality standards, and training with the goals of accessing new markets, diversifying revenue streams and increasing production and profitability.
North Shore EVP is the first organization in Hawaii to offer a Group GAP program. North Shore EVP assists farmers in the development of individual farm food safety plans, provides food safety training, and conducts farm audits two times per year at each farm. Upon successful completion of the internal audit the farm becomes Harmonized GAP certified.
To better service our farmers and access additional resources and expertise, North Shore EVP merged with Fresh Systems LLC in spring of 2023. This merger brings together GroupGAP groups across several states and increases the total number of participating farms in the network to well over 50. (add about access to information, auditing expertise and other resources from a national network of GroupGAP practitioners.
HAWAI‘I FARMERS, you may wish to join a future cohort if:
You are looking to expand your farm production, but you’re not sure where to start,
You need to prepare for FMSA compliance,
You are interested in becoming Food Safety Certified,
You are eager to access new markets & increase your sales.
The course includes:
Instruction on Good Agricultural Practices in a class setting with other farmers or interactive online attendance options for those in remote areas or unable to travel
Farm food safety assessment: we come to your farm to assist & work with you on an individual basis to create a customized Farm Food Safety Plan for your farm’s future!
Quality Management System manuals & guidelines for you & your employees
Harmonized GAP Certification through our affordable USDA GroupGAP Program
Let’s Get Started
If you are a farmer who is interested in learning more about the North Shore EVP Group GAP program, please contact us via our contact form with your questions, comments, and contact information.