Regardless of size and markets, ALL produce growers should identify and limit food safety risks within their operations. Here are three steps for Vermont growers to get on board:
Step-1-– ALL growers write a CAPS Plan by April 1–This is free for VVBGA members and only takes a few hours at capsvt.org !
Step 2--Get a CAPS Certificate—For a 3-party review of your plan, and a CAPS Certificate of best practices, register for CAPS by April1, and complete the program by November 1. ($100 fee)
Step 3--Get a CAPS-PLUS Certificate if your market requires a third-party on-farm audit, email Hans at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
For more information and photos, see CAPS overview HERE .
To be eligible for the CAPS or CAPS-Plus certificate, You must submit your produce safety plan and pay the $10O fee** HERE by April 1, 2018
- If you miss this deadline, you need to wait till next year …so DON’T wait until the last minute! And don’t stress because this is only a ROUGH draft—you will have the merry month of May to revise it!
- Just starting CAPS? Create and account and draft a new CAPS Plan (takes about 2-4 hours) at capsvt.org .
- Renewing CAPS? Simply review/revise your existing plan from last year and submit!
Instructions for tasks to complete by April 1:
- If you have yet to, create and account at capsvt.org and set up your farm folder. This is free, easy and only takes a couple minutes. DO THIS NOW if possible…so you can get on our auto reminder list!
- If you have yet to, complete the CAPS on-line produce safety plan -This is a guided short-answer survey to describe your current practices. If renewing CAPS, simply review/revise your existing plan.
- Submit this plan for review by April 1 at the latest!! Please submit your draft plan even if you don’t want a CAPS certificate.
- If you have yet to, register here for CAPS by April 1 and pay the $100 fee**—this will make you official—and is a separate step from creating an account!
** technical and financial assistance is available to help make CAPS equally accessible for all VVBGA members—email Hans for more info.
Feel free to contact me any time—I am here to support you with CAPS!
VVBGA CAPS Coordinator–Produce Safety Specialist, UVM Extension Brattleboro Office
Office:802 257 7967, Cell: 802 380 2109