FAQ's & Resources

While Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification and the Produce Safety Rule have many similarities, the systems are not the same and are managed by different agencies. GAP certification, while it may be required by a buyer, is a voluntary system. The Produce Safety Rule is part of a federal law that applies to all farms that meet the coverage requirements of the Rule. Those businesses that choose to be GAP certified and are also subject to the Produce Safety Rule may be interested in Harmonized GAP. USDA worked with industry to develop the new audit, which better meets the needs of some growers who are subject  to multiple reviews.

In most cases, farm inspections are scheduled and there is a pre-inspection call so you know when your inspection will be conducted and who will be coming on to your farm to conduct the inspection. The pre-inspection call confirms the commodities grown and farm activities occurring, inspector’s information, biosecurity practices, farm’s policies, and ensures that the owner or produce safety manager will be present at the inspection. Under certain circumstances a farm inspection may be unannounced, typically due to previous produce safety issues on the farm that require follow-up, or complaints, recalls, or foodborne outbreaks associated with the farm.

You do not need a permit to grow, harvest, hold and pack produce in Tennessee. You will need to coordinate with other department or local/county government for other permits related to selling and/or manufacturing produce.

Covered activities are growing, harvesting, packing, or holding covered produce on a farm.

Covered and non covered Produce slides 1
Covered and non covered Produce slides 2

All FSMA-PSR Produce Safety Inspections are free.