Implementing GAPS on a Wholesale/Retail Vegetable and Fruit Farm

September 22, 2010 from 5 - 7pm
Paul Mazza's Fruits and Vegetables, Essex VT

This workshop will focus on practical steps that can be taken by commercial vegetable and fruit farms seeing to pass a GAPS audit and reduce risks associated with fresh produce.

Paul Mazza's is one of the largest produce farms in Vermont, with about 200 acres of vegetables, small fruits, and tree fruits plus retail locations in Essex and Colchester. Most of their produce is sold wholesale, and like other large growers they have had to deal with the fact that several supermarket chains and other buyers now require their wholesale produce growers to pass a GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) food safety audit.

Paul Mazza's farm was one of the first in Vermont to complete a GAPs audit. This is their second year of the process, and they have set up many systems to deal with the required practices and paperwork.

Shawn Lavigne, farm manager, will give an overview of what they have done to comply with GAPs, and explain what has been relatively easy and what is challenging. Ginger Nickerson, UVM Extension GAPs specialist and Steve Parise, Vermont Agency of Agriculture GAPS auditor will be on hand to answer questions.

Directions:  Take I-89 to exit 11 (Richmond), take a right off the ramp, then an immediate right onto Route 117 (River Road), follow for about 5 miles, the driveway to the farm stand will be on your left. Please park away from the stand to leave room for customers.

Questions?  Vern Grubinger University of Vermont Extension: 802-257-7967 x303 or Dave Rogers NOFA-VT: 802-434-4122

Sponsored by: University of Vermont Extension, the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, Vermont Organic Farmers / NOFA-VT, and the Risk Management Agency, which provides sound risk management solutions for farmers, see: Additional support provided by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture specialty crops program.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status. If you require accommodations to participate in this program, please let our office know 10 days prior to the event so we may assist you.