USDA GroupGAP

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 manages the group’s Quality Management System (QMS) and acts as the data repository for all of the participating farms.  It assists farmers in the development of individual farm safety plans, provides food safety training, and conducts farm inspections two times per year at each farm. Upon successful completion of both internal audits the farm becomes Harmonized GAP certified.

You can learn more about GroupGAP at the USDA website or see our FAQ page

HAWAI‘I FARMERS, you may wish to join a future cohort if:

USDA GroupGAP - Expand

Expand

You are looking to expand your farm production, but you’re not sure where to start,

USDA GroupGAP - Compliance

Compliance

You need to prepare for FMSA compliance,

USDA GroupGAP - Certified

Certified

You are interested in becoming Food Safety Certified,

USDA GroupGAP - Sales

Sales

You are eager to access new markets & increase your sales.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PROGRAM OR HOW YOU CAN JOIN A FUTURE COHORT, PLEASE CONTACT OUR FOOD SAFETY DIRECTOR LISA RHODEN AT [email protected] OR (808) 343-8196

GroupGAP Farmer Training Course!

North Shore EVP is an officially recognized USDA GroupGAP Partnership; the first in Hawai’i! We prepare farms for Harmonized GAP compliance, and are currently in session for Cohort 4! Applications for Cohort 5 are not yet available; please call or email Lisa at 808-343-8196, or [email protected], for more information on future cohorts.

The course includes:

GroupGAP Course

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

GroupGAP Course

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!

GroupGAP Course

Quality Management System manuals & guidelines for you & your employees

GroupGAP Course

Harmonized GAP Certification through our affordable USDA GroupGAP Program

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR PROGRAM OR HOW YOU CAN JOIN A FUTURE COHORT, PLEASE CONTACT OUR FOOD SAFETY DIRECTOR LISA RHODEN AT [email protected] OR (808) 343-8196

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. Here is a sample of the GroupGAP Farmer Application.