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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

Vickery Orchards

Viel Farm

Walhowdon Farm

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 14 days prior to the scheduled audit visit.

Billing Policy and Process

Effective October 1, 2018, the USDA, AMS, amended the fee structure for its voluntary Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit program. Under the amended fee structure, you will receive two bills for your USDA GAP audit:

1. The first bill will be from the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food to cover the time and associated travel costs for trained and licensed inspectors to conduct the audit.

2. The second bill will be from the USDA to cover the time required for AMS to review, approve, issue certification, and if requested, post your audit report on a commercial database used by buyers. The USDA cost is estimated to be between 2-5 hours. The hourly fee for audits is $108 per hour.

Please click on this link to learn more about USDA’s Billing Policy and Process for 2019.

-Vendor Form

All USDA GAP participants must complete and submit an SC-430 New Vendor Form before scheduling an audit. The SC-430 form and instructions are posted on the AMS website at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/resources/sc430.

Click here for a copy of the SC-430 Vendor Form

-Submission

You may submit your completed SC-430 form using the information listed below:

  • Fax to 866-230-9168

  • Mail to:

USDA, AMS, SCI, ASB

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Stop 0247, Room 0707-S

Washington, DC 20250-0247

If you do not submit your SC-430 form New Vendor form, you will not be able to schedule the USDA GAP audit.

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