[montanafood_ag] Weigh in on GAPs Guidelines

Stein, Mary mstein at montana.edu
Wed Jun 23 12:47:26 MDT 2010

RE:  GAPS Harmonization Project
Below you'll find an invitation for farmers to comment on the proposed GAPS Harmonization guidelines.  This information will likely be used by the FDA as a guiding document when considering farm food safety in the next year or two.  Thirteen groups have been involved in the process so far, but this draft document needs the eye of farmers whom it will effect.  See below:

Update from Produce GAPs Harmonization Technical Working Group

To:  Fresh fruit and vegetable, specialty crop producers, and service providers

From: Dr. David Gombas and Erin Grether, United Fresh Produce Association on behalf of the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative Technical Working Group (TWG)

May 21, 2010

The TWG has completed the first draft of the Produce GAPs Harmonized standard assembled from 13 existing standards, put forward for consideration in the harmonization process.

We are now moving from the review and assembly steps to a refinement process in which we will work to assure that we are meeting key aspects of the mandate our steering committee established:

The harmonized GAP standard will be appropriate for farmers of all scales, commodities and mixes of crops, locations (regions within North America), and production practices.

We have maintained an open and transparent process throughout and are committed to continue doing so.

With that in mind, we are very happy to announce that we have created a blog spot<http://www.unitedfresh.org/blog/> on the United Fresh Website, in which you and your colleagues can begin commenting and discussing the first draft of the harmonized standard.  The blog has links to the draft standard, the Technical Working Group website, a United Fresh press release on the completion of the first draft, and news about upcoming meetings.

All comments made to this blog will be tracked and discussed at upcoming meetings; however, we would appreciate preliminary comments/posts by Tuesday, June 14, before our next meeting at Sysco in Houston, TX.  We will continue to take comments for discussion after the 14th for our July and August meetings, but it is important to respond as soon as possible, so your recommendations are addressed in a timely manner.

To be successful, we need the widest range of stakeholder perspectives at the table during the upcoming meetings.  You are encouraged to attend meetings and post comments to the blog; moreover, please share information with other colleagues to maximize comments and posts for discussion and push this invitation out to other stakeholders, particularly those that have been underrepresented until now.

To register for this blog, you must create a username and provide your email address. You will then be sent a password that you will be able to change.  We are asking you to register in order to minimize spam.

The blog URL is:  http://www.unitedfresh.org/blog/.

Mary Stein
Department of Health and Human Development
175 HPE Complex
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT  59718
Email:  mstein at montana.edu

Phone:  (406)994-5640
Fax:        (406)994-7300

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