Updates for USDA Harmonized GAP and Harmonized GAP Plus Audits

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Harmonized GAP Standards and Checklists

On February 16, 2021, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announced updates to the audit standards and checklists for the USDA Harmonized GAP and Harmonized GAP Plus+ audit programs. The USDA Harmonized GAP Audit is one of the most popular audits used by North Carolina produce growers and buyers.

The current USDA Harmonized GAP standards and checklists remain in effect through April 30, 2021.

The new USDA Harmonized GAP standard and checklist were revised to reflect recent updates to the Produce Harmonized GAP Standard and to include Tomato Protocol Metrics.

The new USDA Harmonized GAP Plus+ standard and checklist were updated to align with updates to the Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) technical equivalency benchmarking requirements for government entities. This program is acknowledged as equivalent to GFSI Technical Equivalence Requirements. This audit option includes requirements previously covered by the Harmonized Global Markets Addendum.

The new standards and checklists will be effective May 1, 2021, for USDA Harmonized GAP and GAP Plus+ audits.

Upcoming Educational Programs

Specialty crops producers, buyers, and others may sign up for a free webinar hosted by USDA AMS experts at 1 p.m. EST on March 8, 2021, to discuss the revisions to the checklists.

Our NC State University program will offer a follow-up online workshop to review the audit guidelines and share resources in preparation for the upcoming auditing season on March 30, 2021, from 2–4 p.m. Registration for this event will be available soon.

For more information visit USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Harmonized GAP website.