Cecarelli Farms: USDA-Certified for Good Agricultural Practices
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds a variety of programs designed to educate and encourage farmers and food-growers across America in how to maximize both the nutritional value of their food and the output of their land. For fresh fruits and vegetables like the ones Cecarelli Farms has been producing for over 100 years, their top-level program is called GAP/GHP. (Often just pronounced ‘gap.’)
Good Agricultural Practices
The ‘G’ in both acronyms stands for ‘good;’ the ‘P’ for ‘practices.’ The ‘A’ stands for ‘Agriculture,’ and the ‘H’ for ‘Handling.’ So in layman’s terms, ‘GAP/GHP’ stands for ‘Good growing and food handling practices.’ The purpose of the program is, according to their website, minimizing ‘microbial food safety hazards’ in fresh fruits and vegetables.
In other words, when you buy fruit and vegetables from a GAP/GHP Certified farm like Cecarelli Farms, you can be confident that we’re doing everything possible to keep your produce free from harmful viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
The GAP/GHP program is 100% voluntary — no farm is required to participate. But Cecarelli Farms chooses to, because we want to know (and we want our customers to know) that we’re using the most effective techniques in the nation to keep everyone safe.
The inspectors come to our farm at audit time, and they examine virtually every aspect of the process, from the source of the water we use to irrigate the crops to the records we keep of which produce gets shipped where and when. (The deeply curious can view their entire checklist here). If the USDA finds any issues, they advise the farm about what could be done better, and will even consult on how to get those changes implemented with a minimum disturbance to the business cycle.
Cecarelli Farms’ Dedication to Our Customers
There are markets out there that simply won’t buy a farm’s produce if they’re not GAP/GHP Certified. And because of that, there may be farms out there that are certified only because it’s necessary to stay in business. But that’s not us. Cecarelli Farms could easily sell every last radish, because our produce is just that good. But we choose to adhere to the GAP/GHP standards because we want to make absolutely certain that everything we give our customers will enhance their health and improve their lives.
Good nutrition from fresh, wholesome and great-tasting food. That’s what it’s all about here; and it’s why we freely volunteer to let the inspectors come in and tell us if there’s anything we could do better…for you.