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GAP Certification

The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food: Division of Regulatory Services offers GAP/GHP certification under the USDA Federal-State Audit Program. GAP refers to "Good Agricultural Practices," and GHP refers to "Good Handling Practices."

This nationally recognized cooperative partnership performs audits based on the Food and Drug Administration's Guidelines to Minimize Microbial Contamination for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. GAP & GHP audits are performed on a voluntary basis at the request of NH farmers and packing operations.

2018 GAP Certified NH Farms

Autumnview Farm

Brookdale Fruit Farm

Carter Hill Orchard

McKenzie’s Farm

Mt. Pleasant Orchard

Oliver Merrill & Sons

Sunnycrest Farm (Pending- waiting for certificate from USDA)

Vickery Orchards

Viel Farm

Walhowdon Farm (Pending- waiting for certificate from USDA)

2017 GAP Certified NH Farms

Autumnview Farm

Brookdale Fruit Farm

Carter Hill Orchard

McKenzie’s Farm

Mt. Pleasant Orchard

Oliver Merrill & Sons

Pearl & Sons

Sunnycrest

Vickery Orchards

What is GAP & GHP?

The purpose of the GAP/GHP program is to provide consumers with confidence that they are purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts that have been handled in a manner to reduce the risk of microbial contamination. The auditors verify compliance with the scopes requested by the application, of the USDA Federal/State Audit Checklist.

The GAP certification process consists of three (3) main sections for farm operations:

  1. General Questions
  2. Farm Review
  3. Field Harvest and Field Packing

The GHP certification process is for operations that conduct packing activities of fresh fruits and vegetables. This also consists of three (3) sections:

  1. General Questions
  2. House Packing Facility
  3. Storage and Transportation

Every operation must compile a farm safety program, which outlines the standard operating procedures and policies that are in practice for the requirements of each section. In certain circumstances, documentation must also be provided to substantiate evidence of compliance with the requirements in the checklist. Additionally, trace back and mock recall requirements have been included in the General questions, and all other sections where applicable and a traceability program must be in place and documented before on-site inspection occurs.

GAP Requirements

For more information on the GAP/GHP Certification requirements, visit the USDA GAP website.

Requesting a GAP Audit

To request a GAP/GHP audit, a completed Audit Request Form and an Audit Agreement are required.

These forms are available on the USDA website. When you open the USDA Available Services page, scroll down until you see the heading, “Directories”. Click on the second option for GAP/GHP Certified Businesses. Then, on the GAP page, scroll until you see “How to Request a GAP & GHP Audit”. The second bullet is for the request form and the last bullet is for the agreement. The completed forms may be emailed to Jennifer Gornnert at Jennifer.gornnert@agr.nh.gov, faxed to (603) 271-1109, or mailed to:

NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food
Division of Regulatory Services
PO Box 2042
Concord, NH 03302

In addition to the 2 forms, a copy of your Food Safety Plan must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the scheduled audit visit.

Billing Process

Each USDA GAP audit is comprised of 6 steps. This department will bill the grower for the time spent on the pre-audit activities, the onsite audit visit (including travel), and writing the audit report. The USDA will issue a second bill to the grower for their time spent on reviewing the audit report, the approval and certification process, and posting audit results to the USDA website, and external reporting services. The USDA cost is estimated to be between 2-5 hours depending on the size of the audit. The hourly fee for audits is $108 per hour.

In order for the USDA to bill the applicant directly, each GAP customer will need to complete a New Vendor Form. The New Vendor Form and instructions for submitting it can be found on the USDA Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) website at https://www.ams.usda.gov/gapghp.

Harmonized GAP

For those interested in requesting a Harmonized GAP audit, please contact the USDA Audit Services Branch directly at:

Telephone: (202) 720-5021
Fax:(866) 230-9168
Email: SCAudits@ams.usda.gov

Further Reading

Training Videos


NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food
Mailing: PO Box 2042, Concord NH 03302 -2042
Physical: 25 Capitol Street, Second Floor, Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3551 | fax: (603) 271-1109