The Packer: A new, cost-effective food safety certification program for small and mid-sized growers has been launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Called GroupGAP, the program certifies that growers are following industry-recognized food safety practices.”We know that GAP certification can sometimes be cost-prohibitive for smaller farmers,” AMS administrator Elanor Starmer said in a news release. “GroupGAP allows these farmers to demonstrate compliance with strong food safety standards and share the cost of certification across a group of growers.”

For those growers, that should translate to greater market access, give consumers more options, and provide strong verification of food safety practices, she said in the release. GroupGAP has undergone a three-year pilot phase before being offered nationally, according to the release.

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