The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced that the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Plus+, Version 3.0 audit standard has achieved Technical Equivalence acknowledgement against GFSI Benchmarking Requirements, Version 2020. The acknowledgement encompasses GFSI scopes “Farming of Plants” (other than grains and pulses) and “Pre-Process Handling of Plant Products.”

Technical Equivalence is a category of the GFSI benchmarking process dedicated to government standards. The process recognizes the equivalence of a standard’s content to the relevant scope(s) of Part III of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements.

The acknowledgement by GFSI confirms that USDA’s Harmonized GAP Plus+ audit program for specialty crops is ensuring the U.S. specialty crop sector is delivering safe products to global consumers. The acknowledgment of the standard for GFSI Technical Equivalence also demonstrates the continued effort of USDA to align with GFSI requirements for standards that encompass food safety management.