Maryland Good Agricultural and Handling Practices (GAP/GHP)
Good Agricultural and Handling Practices are sets of standards developed to protect consumers and producers from food contamination. Many states have developed their own sets of practices, and these protocols are different for different farms. While optional for farms, many produce buyers require GAP/GHP implementation. These practices create a safer and more sustainable food supply for us all. If you are a Maryland producer interested in further assistance to implement GAP/GHP, here are resources to help!
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has published this general primer on GAP/GHP: http://www.mda.maryland.gov/foodfeedquality/pages/good_ag_practices.aspx
These are the state’s requirements for implementing a complete set of GAP/GHP: http://www.mda.maryland.gov/foodfeedquality/Documents/GHPPROGRAMREQUIREMENTS.pdf
MDA has also released this checklist of suggested important actions for GAP/GHP: http://www.mda.maryland.gov/foodfeedquality/Documents/TOP10THINGSTOIMPLEMENTGAPSCHECKLIST.pdf
Here are the full contact forms, to be submitted to MDA, to request a GAP/GHP under MDA and USDA regulations. USDA certification can provide a national recognition of acceptable sanitary standards:
The University of Maryland Extension has information pertaining specifically to the MDA GAP/GHP regulations:
Cornell’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has compiled many resources on national GAPs:
Hopefully this list will help you on your way towards safer production! If you have any additional checklists or pages to add, please let us know and we will update the page with them.