As mentioned in the Producer FAQs: GAP Certification, it is critical to ask the right questions before pursuing preparing for GAP certification. That page provides answers to many important questions. Once you have reviewed the FAQs, if you decide you would like to further inquire about assistance, please fill out the “VCE Producer Gap Certification Inquiry Form”, which you can send to the Fresh Produce Food Safety Team and/or the local agent. VCE will review the form and discuss with you their guidance on pursuing GAP certification. If you decide to fully pursue this route, we will have you complete a second form entitled, “VCE Producer GAP Certification Follow-Up Form”. The second form is more in depth and provides a way for you to conduct an initial written risk assessment, prior to VCE visiting your farm and conducting a walk through with you. Your local agent will contact you to further discuss and work with you.
While we have provided many resources here including the general Plan of Action checklist template questions (based on the actual USDA audit checklists), we have not made the full manual contents downloadable. The reason for this is that we firmly believe that it is imperative that producers are carefully trained in on-farm contamination risks and are guided through the preparation process. As we work closely with you, we can provide you the greatest level of support and guidance tailored to your unique farm operation, helping you with Plan of Action Manual document examples as well as input about on-farm practices.
The resources provided here are categorized methodically to aid you in preparing for GAP certification. Under GAP Certification Overview section below, there is general information and links about USDA-based GAP audits so you can learn more about each of the audit schemes. Audit schemes other than USDA types are briefly explored in the subpage entitled “Other Audit Schemes Resources” subpage; however, while we can generally orient you in these other schemes, VCE does not provide in-depth assistance for these other audits. Other helpful sections below include resources for On-Farm Risk Assessment and Implementation of On-Farm Practices, Plan of Action Manual Preparation, Related Topics, and Audit and Post-Audit Follow-Up.