Farmers: Register Now for Fresh Produce Safety / GAPs Workshop

Posted On February 10, 2014— Written By

fresh produce at farmers' market

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, in partnership with North Carolina State University and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), will conduct two workshops with the aim of providing farmers with the tools to reduce food safety risks and meet market requirements.

This two-part Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) workshop series will address how farmers of all sizes can achieve USDA GAPs certification, deliver information on principles of fresh produce safety and on-farm hazard assessment, as well as provide assistance with creating a fresh produce farm safety plan.

The first workshop, Principles of Fresh Produce Safety and Navigating the USDA GAP Audit, will be on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in Pittsboro, NC.

This workshop takes place in a farm environment and will be based on newly developed components focused on navigating a GAPs audit. This workshop will combine classroom and on-farm instruction to provide producers with the tools needed to identify potential food safety concerns as well as strategies to minimize contamination. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance that fulfills a portion of the eligibility requirements to receive up to $600 in GAPs Cost Share assistance from CFSA. Participants will spend the morning at Harland’s Creek Farm, a certified organic diversified farm in Pittsboro, then receive classroom instruction at the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

The second workshop will be on Wednesday, March 19 and will cover Fresh Produce Safety Program and Plan Development. This workshop will be conducted in a computer lab and will provide direct assistance to producers in completing a fresh produce safety plan. Attendees will leave this session with a well-developed working draft of their specific food safety plan, which becomes the framework for an audit, and can be used to demonstrate individual farm risk-reduction steps. Completion of the first workshop is a prerequisite and basic computer knowledge is required in order to receive the maximum benefit from this session.

Speakers: Diane Ducharme, NCSU; Katie Baros, NCSU; and Matthew Agle, NCSU

Details and registration information are on the workshop section of the Growing Small Farms website.