Funding Assistance for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification
The Orange County Economic Development Department is pleased to announce funding assistance for farmers who are interested in becoming GAP certified in order to increase market opportunities and also provide local healthy foods in our schools.
GAP Certification is often required by institutional and wholesale buyers of fruits and vegetables as a way of assuring that the products purchased from farms are safe.
The goal is to increase the number of GAP certified farms in Orange County and to give those farms more options for the sale of their products.
Funding for this effort is from an initiative by the Orange County Board of Commissioners to get more local fruits and produce into the local school system. GAP certification will not only help with this effort but also allow local farmers potential access to other markets that also require GAP.
The funding is intended to cover the costs of:
An initial GAP training class
On-farm audits by third parties, as required to qualify for certification
Funds will be dispersed to qualified farmers (already in production with sales of fruits or vegetables) on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last.
About the Program
This is a pilot program to determine interest among Orange County farmers. The GAP Certification is a one-year certification and would need to be renewed annually.
If successful, additional support will be offered to producers in accessing markets, potentially including school systems.