GAPS INITIATIVE AUDITOR WORKSHOP ANNOUNCED
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative is boldly moving towards streamlined audits and reduced costs with the second Harmonized Standards Train-the-Trainer workshop. The course is open to auditors and all interested parties and will focus on the use and interpretation of the Field Operations and Harvesting Harmonized Standards.
The three-day workshop, September 11–13, will be held at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md. The first two days will feature the official training materials developed by the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative Calibration Committee, designed to calibrate auditors in food safety expectations of growing and harvesting operations using the Harmonized Standards. The third day is targeted to those auditors and operations interested in GlobalG.A.P. Produce Safety certification to meet buyers’ requirements for a GFSI audit. The third day will also feature how the Tomato Metrics have been incorporated into the Harmonized Standards and the GlobalG.A.P Produce Safety certification.
“While the Harmonized Standards go a long way to reducing the potential for conflicting food safety expectations, it all comes down to the auditor,” said David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president of food safety & technology. “Having a single standard doesn’t reduce audit fatigue if different auditors interpret the standards in different ways. This workshop was developed to better calibrate auditors from different audit organizations in how the Harmonized Standards are supposed to be used. We’ll cover the details of what an auditor should expect to see at an operation, how an auditor should judge that operation based on the evidence they see, and how that judgment can change in different situations.”
Participation in the workshop is free, thanks to the generous sponsorship of USDA, NSF, GlobalG.A.P and others, and is open to all interested parties. This is the last workshop planned for 2012, and there are limited spots available, so register soon! We are asking those who wish to attend to register using this form and return to Erin Grether or call (202) 303-3402. More information about the Harmonized Standards, including downloadable versions of the Field Operations and Harvesting and the Post-harvest Operations standards, is available on the United Fresh website.