Farmers offered 1-day GAP training

In partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Development, asdevelop.org, Rural Action will be offering a one-day training to prepare farm and food businesses for a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit and certification.

GAP and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary audits that assure consumers and wholesale purchasers that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP and GHP audits verify adherence to recommendations made in the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” and industry recognized food safety practices.

To support farmers in meeting food safety requirements, Rural Action and Appalachian Sustainable Development are offering training and technical support on Wednesday, Feb. 7, in a day-long workshop at the Marion Community Center located at 7979 College St., Chesterhill. The training will begin at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 5 p.m., with lunch included in the $10 registration cost. The training will be presented by Adam Watson, Compliance and Grower Manager for Appalachian Harvest; ASD’s 17-year-old Food Hub in Duffield, Va. It will be presented in non-electronic format.

The training will help farmers prepare a Plan of Action Manual, and go through mock audits to help ensure that high GAP standards are in place. Topics covered in the training will include: water quality; worker training, health and hygiene; manure and compost handling; soil management; and domestic and wild animals. Attendees will receive record keeping materials and learn food safety techniques of value even if you are not currently considering pursuing GAP certification.

Registration is required for this event. To register: Tom Redfern at tomr@ruralaction org 740-677-4047.