University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will offer voluntary food safety Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GH’s) training sessions for fruit and vegetable growers in 2011.
The training includes certification issued by the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
According to Gordon Johnson, extension specialist and assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, “For wholesale growers, this training certification program satisfies some wholesale buyer requirements that growers attend GAP/GHP training. For those expecting to go through an audit this year, this program will help you to know what is covered in an audit and how to develop your farm food safety plan.”
Smaller growers that do not market wholesale are also encouraged to become trained and learn about the best ways to keep produce safe from food borne pathogens.
Limited or no wholesale, mostly direct market growers will need to complete only 3 hours of training, while significant wholesale growers must attend 6 hours of training in order to receive certification.
Training sessions in 2011 include:
Wholesale growers: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, March 3.
Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Monday, April 4.
Both sessions will take place at the Kent County Extension Office, UD Paradee Building, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901.
Call (302) 730-4000 to register, and contact Phillip Sylvester (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kent County cooperative extension agent, for more information.
Wholesale growers: This will be broken up into two sessions. Session 1 will take place 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, March 10 and Session 2 will take place 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, March 17.
Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday, April 14.
All sessions will take place at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947.
Call (302) 856-7303 to register or contact extension agents Tracy Wootten (email@example.com) or Cory Whaley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
New Castle County
Small growers (limited or no wholesale): 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday, April 26.
The session will be held at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE , 19716
Call (302) 831-2506 to register or contact extension educator Maria Pippidis (email@example.com) for more information.
Trainings are also sponsored by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware.