Name Washington State Horticultural Association
GGN 4050373873004 Website http://www.wahort.org
Country United States of America

Profile

The GRAS2P program (Growers Response to Agriculture, Safe and Sustainable Practices) was created by the Washington State Horticultural Association to assist growers in attaining certification of their orchards under a range of audit schemes designed to ensure ‘good agricultural practices’ (G.A.P.s) are in place. GRAS2P was designed as an audit readiness program for small and medium sized growers and the guidance manual created as a step-by-step approach to ensure certification. With retail partners first requiring on orchard certifications and the subsequent passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), utilization of the GRAS2P program increased dramatically. Guidance manual preparation and revision, reproducing the manual, training specialists to teach growers, training auditors to conduct pre-audits, the production of worker safety and training videos, using water responsibly and production of compliance posters are just some of the ways GRAS2P has worked to keep Washington tree fruit growers competitive in the global marketplace by having stringent food safety standards in place at the grower level. Compliance means reducing the likelihood of biological contaminants getting from the orchard to the packing facility and this can only be accomplished when growers and workers fully understand the good agricultural practices to be implemented in the orchard. This means a safer food supply to both our domestic and foreign consumers who can be assured of the safety of Washington tree fruits. Social responsibility and increasing biodiversity are at the top of the list for our Washington Tree Fruit Growers.

Achievements

It has been a collective achievement as a large group of Washington State Tree Fruit growers. Each individual warehouse operates an Option 2, QMS with 50-150 growers in each group. For the past four years, these warehouses have successfully implemented their food safety program and our growers are now on-farm compliant. Each year, the growers’ standards are even higher than the previous year and more growers are added to the group. We have been recognized by the state of Washington for a Safety, Health and Hygiene training video to help our growers meet all of the GLOBALG.A.P. checklist requirements. The project proposed here is a modular video (essentially comprised of “chapters”) that can be relatively easily updated and hence is more cost effective to keep current. The video could therefore be used by the module or in its entirety depending on the training context for which it is being used. Specifically the proposed video would bring the content of the © 2012 video in-line with the current requirements set by the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as those standards set by Labor and Industry (L&I), and the focus of the outreach programs in fieldworker/grower training of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and the Washington State Horticultural Association’s (WSHA) GRAS2P program. Last August, we received an $18,000 grant from the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Heath Center (PNASH) at the University of Washington, Seattle to start the revision of this video project.