Starting January 1, 2010, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Farm Food Safety Coaching program and the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s auditing team at its Commodities Branch will be posting the names of farms (wholesalers/packers) which have obtained third-party food-safety audit certifications that are current. Businesses that have had these audits have taken the time to learn and follow industry-leading best practices and to keep records of those practices. Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) include:
- keeping records of fertilizer, compost, manure, and pesticide uses
- having on-site toilets and hand-washing facilities and keeping records of their maintenance
- keeping commercial animals and pets out of production areas at all times
- using appropriate-quality irrigation and produce wash water.
A passed audit means that on the day the auditor was at the business, best practices were followed and observable. Clearly, it is up to the business to keep those practices going the other 364 days of the year, although there is no auditor watching them on those days. This effort has been strongly endorsed and financially supported by the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation. The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s Development Division and RETAH II have also contributed funds to this program.
This logo was designed and released by College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) for use starting in January 2010. The purpose is to provide consumers with an easy way to identify products that come from food-safety-certified farms in Hawai‘i. To be able to use this logo, the farm must agree to a number of ongoing conditions, including:
- Using only new boxes (or washable, returnable plastic bins) or new plastic bags to hold the farm’s produce. The boxes can be either blank or have printing on them, but they must belong to the farm that has passed the audit (to do otherwise would be mislabeling the product, which is unlawful). A food-safety-certified farms that re-uses boxes cannot use the logo on those boxes.
- The produce in the box or bag must come only from the farm with the food-safety certification. No co-packing of products from farms that do not have a current food-safety certification is allowed (to do otherwise would be mislabeling the product, which is unlawful).
- The farm must have an ongoing food-safety-auditing program and scheduled annual audits.
- Other conditions apply, and a contract must be signed before this logo can be legally used.
For further information about this logo, inquire by e-mail to the address at the bottom of this page.