Join PASA on Tuesday, January 17, in Berks County, as the farmers at Red Earth Farm
and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Supervisor, Brenda Sheaffer
, present on Red Earth’s recent Harmonized GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification.
At this event, the Red Earth team will talk about their decision to become Harmonized GAP-certified, and why they chose Harmonized GAP certification, in particular. They will present on the process by which Red Earth came into compliance—including establishing record-keeping systems, standard operating procedures for harvest and processing of produce, and the development of their processing and packing facilities to requisite levels. A tour of Red Earth’s updated packing-processing facility, as well as discussion regarding Red Earth’s Food Safety plan, will take place. Ms. Sheaffer will present on Red Earth’s journey from the certifying agency’s perspective, and will be available to answer questions from the audience about Red Earth’s certification but also about the GAP process, in general. Red Earth was Harmonized GAP-certified in August, 2016, and has passed multiple audits in the months following.
GAP certification will eventually be required under the Food Safety Modernization Act for agricultural operations at a specific scale; increasingly, however, access to certain markets—particularly wholesale—is requiring this certification, regardless of the size of the farm operation. This is a good opportunity for farms potentially interested in GAP certification to talk with a farm that has recently gone through the process, and for agriculture service professionals, as well as industry representatives, to gain a better understanding about this certification, in general.