NASHVILLE – Tennessee farmers looking to expand their markets and increase food safety by becoming Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified now have the opportunity to receive financial assistance from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA).
GAP certification allows producers to sell directly to more businesses and institutions with stringent food safety requirements, such as grocery stores or hospitals. These new opportunities allow producers to increase their income, and the certification helps to ensure food is safe and wholesome for specialty crops throughout Tennessee.
“We continue to look for ways to provide new opportunities to farmers,” Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “Mitigating the cost of GAP audits may help enable more producers to become certified. Tennessee farmers provide safe, reliable food. An increase in GAP certified producers in the state will reinforce our reliability to businesses and consumers.”
The application period closes Aug. 31, 2019. Qualified producers will have the opportunity to offset the cost of a GAP Certification inspection by being reimbursed 75 percent of the inspection cost up to $750.
Funds are available on a first come, first served basis. Grant funds are available to producers only; warehouses and distributors may not apply.
You will find more information and the cost share application at www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/produce-nursery/gap.html or by emailing Grant Pulse at firstname.lastname@example.org.