Resources for GAP Certification:

Various standards exist for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), but there is increasing harmonization among the different organizations and companies involved in GAP certification.

The leading international standard is known as Global G.A.P. which is set by an international non-governmental organization.  Information on Global Gap can be found at:

In the United States, GAP standards have varied widely between certification companies and organizations. Faced with having to comply with numerous different standards, producers and handlers have demanded a harmonization of GAP standards.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture addressed the need for a prevailing standard by creating a voluntary standard that is widely used by various governmental and private inspectors.  More information about the USDA standard can be found at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's website:

In June 2009, a private industry group, the United Fresh Food Safety & Technology Council, endorsed a plan to drive harmonization of GAP standards.  According to this group's website:

“This plan evolved into the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative, an all-industry effort including growers, shippers, produce buyers, government agencies, audit organizations and other stakeholders. The goal of the Initiative is “one audit by any credible third party, acceptable to all buyers”. To achieve this goal, the Initiative has developed food safety Good Agricultural Practices standards and audit checklists for pre- and post-harvest operations, applicable to all fresh produce commodities, all sizes of on-farm operations and all regions in the U.S., and has made them available for use by any operation or audit organization at no cost.”

More information about this harmonized standard can be found at:

On January 4, 2011 the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the responsibility to set the standards for good agricultural practices. The necessary standards and regulations are still in development.

Information on the government's food safety initiatives can be found at:

Producers, processors and handlers of fresh produce wanting to have their operations certified as complying with GAP standards currently must contract for inspections with private companies. A partial list of companies providing GAP certification in the U.S. may be found here:

Resources for Organic Certification:

The following page provides a wealth of information on the USDA's organic program and their specific requirements.
USDA National Organic Program Home Page

The USDA uses accredited organic certifiers to inspect the records and farms of all growers and producers before they can use the USDA Certified Organic label. Check the following lists to find a certifier near you.