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A very important component of the fresh market produce industry is food safety. Here at Eastern Fresh Growers, we have made substantial investments to help insure the quality and safety of our produce.
A history of our food safety milestones includes:
- Early changes to protocol and procedures with the help from lettuce processors we supplied.
- Early adoption of GAPs (Good Agricultural Practicies) and GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) in relation to agriculture. We then chose to be voluntarily audited by the USDA for these practices to be able to provide documentation to customers of independent third party reviews of our processes and facilities.
- Switched from Standard GAPs to the industry formed “Harmonized Audit Standard for Field and Post Harvest Operations”. This standard was created in conjunction with many large food service retailers of fresh produce.
- Added the “Global Markets Addendum” to the “Harmonized Audit Standard”. This incorporated some advanced protocols and record keeping to meet additional customer’s specifications.
- 2018 will bring a redesign of the “Harmonized Audit Standard” and the “Global Markets Addendum”. They have now been combined into a single audit known as the “Harmonized GAP Plus+ Standard”. It will continue to cover Field and Post Harvest Operations. This will be the new standard we will be audited against.