CAPS Step-by-Step

  1. You may open an account at the CAPS portal and begin work on your produce safety plan at any time. Your plan must be ready for review by April 30 (deadline extended).
  2. Join the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA.) The annual fee is $60 per farm, increasing to $70 after January 31, 2021. To participate in the CAPS program in a given year you must join the VVBGA and pay the additional CAPS fee of $100 by April 30. Reduced fees are available if the full fees present a financial hardship to your farm.
  3. Initial review of produce safety plans begins on April 1.
  4. Returning CAPS farms revise their plans if needed and renew VVBGA and CAPS membership by April 1.
  5. CAPS participants will receive feedback on draft plans, and have until early June to finalize the plans according to reviewer recommendations.
  6. During the growing season participating farms upload to their Farm Folders additional documents as required to show implementation of the approved plans. Employee training verification and a private source water test is due July 15.
  7. Normal CAPS participants have until November 1 to complete verify implementation of their produce safety plans , and CAPS-Plus participants verify implementation as soon as possible, at least a month before their scheduled Audit.
  8. Verification records are reviewed for completeness by a team of farmers and agricultural service providers. Any required revisions or missing elements will be due within one month from the review. Certificates and accreditation are conferred upon farms that have verified successful implementation of their approved plan.

Email:  hestrin@uvm.edu

Phone or text: (802) 380-2109.

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