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Discussion Starter #1
We are in the process of going full time and thinking it will be best to get GAP certified so we can sell to the grocery chains. Not to mention the coming FDA regulations.

Did you have to deal with pitfalls? Anything unexpected?

The process seems strait forward enough.
 

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The GAP classes were really easy, as was the test. no pitfalls. I sold to local grocery stores no problems really, mainly things like squash, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes...

Its good knowledge, but not always applicable to the smaller farms.
 

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We are gearing up to produce greens and lettuce. It's kinda mandatory as a "dangerous food". As for small farms... if your selling in excess of 25 thousand you better get the knowledge. All the stores and distribution outlets in my area are requiring it so it's already "mandatory" if not technically required.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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Yep no problem. Update the post when you've doen the training and your experience w/ selling to stores etc. Its been a couple years since I did this (moved into beef, poultry, feed, no more veggies for now).
 

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What is GAP??? Never heard of this.
From Wikipeida (for what that's worth)

The United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service currently operates an audit/certification program to verify that farms use good agricultural practice and/or good handling practice. This is a voluntary program typically utilized by growers and packers to satisfy contractual requirements with retail and food service buyers. The program was implemented in 2002 after the New Jersey Department of Agriculture petitioned USDA-AMS to implement an audit based program to verify conformance to the 1998 Food & Drug Administration publication entitled, "Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables."
The program has been updated several times since 2002, and includes additional certification programs such as commodity specific audit programs for mushrooms, tomatoes, leafy greens, and cantaloupes. In 2009, USDA-AMS participated in the GAPs Harmonization Initiative which "harmonized" 14 of the major North American GAP audit standards, which in 2011 resulted in the release and implementation of the Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standard.
 

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Its most likely going to be a required certification and ugh more paperwork, being phased in over a multi year plan is my guess.... By 2020 I bet you all farms over XXXXXX.XX dollars of sales will have to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm betting that when the new FDA regulations are finalized and take effect that there will be some changes to GAP.

Funny thing is the FDA "requirements" aren't particularly hard to comply with....

If,
you grow without natural fertilizers. AKA manure
grow indoors, in a desert, or in a huge mono-culture area. No wildlife allowed!
use only potable water for irrigation. For example; no lake, river, or other untreated water. Only potable well water can be used.


These three things cancel out 99% on the farm land in America! :)

It's a good plan that will work well I'm sure!
 

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In Arkansas, the " train the trainer " classes are hapenining soon. This is where the extension agents get trained. I am told the classes for farmers will be available in March.
 
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