North Carolina State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension are partnering with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association to deliver workshops across the state that help N.C. farmers meet with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) fresh produce safety standards. Workshops will be held at four Cooperative Extension centers across the state in November and December 2012.
The trainings will address how local farmers can achieve USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) certification, provide information on risks behind specific GAPs requirements, and outline logistics for preparing and scheduling a GAPs audit. The USDA GAPs certification program is an independent audit of produce suppliers that focuses on best agricultural practices to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.
Workshops will focus on prevention and risk identification across all commodities from farm to fork. Wholesalers, community supported agriculture (CSA), educational institutions and retail establishments increasingly want to know what risk-reduction practices are in place on the farm.
An N.C. Specialty Crop Block Grant funded the development of this curriculum. For more information, contact Dr. Audrey Kreske, Food Safety Extension Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Opening Markets website for more details.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center
455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759
Sue Colucci, 828-697-4891, email@example.com