Step 1: GAP 101 Basic Good Agricultural Practices

GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) 101:

The farm is the first step in the farm-to-consumer farm marketing system. Conventional or organic, the safety of the food system begins with your farm. Understand your responsibility to grow food using GAP and get a basic understanding of what these practices are by viewing the video and checking the list below.

GAP 101 Intro Video Thumbnail
Click the image above to download and watch the Good Agricultural Practices on the Farm & in Your Home and Garden video for an overview of GAP.

To download VLC Media Player, a multi-media player for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, or iOS, click here.

The produce industry’s best practices include:

  • Making sure the farm has well-maintained toilets and hand-washing facilities with potable water & hand soap for hand washing.
  • Making sure employees are washing their hands before harvesting and handling produce.
  • Using a proactive pest management strategy for rodents, birds, deer, pigs, slugs and snails.
  • Keeping animals and their fresh manures away from active fields and orchards.
  • Using the right crop protection chemicals, fertilizers and composts according to their labeled (legal) directions, and recording every use.  And, educating growers on how to follow the US EPA Worker Protection Standard rules.
  • Making sure that produce, and harvest baskets with holes, do not come in contact with the soil or unclean surfaces.
  • Using appropriate quality water for irrigation and crop rinse as indicated by a water test from an approved laboratory.
  • Making sure the packing shed, food contact packing surfaces, and refrigerators are well maintained and not a potential source of contamination.
  • Labeling each sell unit with farmer contact information, “Grown in Hawai`i,” and the appropriate field and harvest information to allow trace-back to a specific field within 2 hours.

Let your customers know that you understand your responsibility to grow food under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) by getting your farm tuned-up and annually audited by a third-party auditing company. To get a good understanding of what the best practices are, here is a list of the current GAP for different raw agricultural products.

Examples of GAP:

Western Growers Association GAPs

Canada’s GAPs

Proper compliance of practices is crucial for the safety and success of your farm. For more information and educational materials, watch the video below or visit Cornell University’s GAPs and Cornell University’s Produce Safety Alliance.


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