Training centered on general produce safety, GAP certification

OLATHE, Kan. – K-State Research and Extension is offering half-day workshops for fruit and vegetable growers interested in attaining Good Agricultural Practices or GAP certification, plus a farm tour and introductory workshop on produce safety.

The “Introduction to Produce Safety & Farm Tour” is April 29 from 1 p.m.to 5 p.m. It starts at the K-State Research and Extension Douglas County office where participants learn basic principles of produce safety and regulatory requirements, as well as marketplace requirements. The tour then goes to Juniper Hill Farm in Lawrence.

The cost is $15. The event is part of the Growing Growers KC 2019 core workshop series and open to anyone to attend.

In addition, “Writing a Food Safety Plan” workshops are planned in several locations focused on GAP certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Becoming GAP certified means a grower has passed a voluntary audit that verifies that fruit and vegetables grown on his or her farm are produced, packed, handled and stored as safely as possible to minimize the risks of microbial food safety hazards. Some retailers and other buyers require their grower-suppliers to be GAP certified.

The workshops are supported by the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

The “Writing a Food Safety Plan” workshops are:

April 12 – Olathe

May 17 – Parsons

July 12 – Manhattan

Oct. 4 – Dodge City

Each workshop is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $15 per person and includes lunch. After each workshop, growers will have templates for their records and documentation needed for a food safety plan for a GAPs audit.

More information and online registration is available at the K-State Research and Extension produce food safety website or by contacting Cal Jamerson at agri@ksu.edu or 913-307-7394.

Source: Kansas State University extension