- First, draft a CAPS Plan, start by creating an account HERE, then log in, navigate to “Produce Safety”, and begin work on your produce safety plan at any time. New members have a 2-week extension (till April 15)to draft their first plan. This process usually takes 1-3 hours to complete.
- Join the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA.) The annual fee is $60 per farm, increasing to $70 after January 31, of each year. 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.
- Initial review of produce safety plans begins on April 1 .
- Returning CAPS farms revise their plans if needed and renew VVBGA and CAPS membership by March 1.
- CAPS participants will receive feedback on draft plans, and have until early June to finalize the plans according to reviewer recommendations.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Here is a visual of the key steps leading to a CAPS certificate:
Phone or text: (802) 380-2109.