United Fresh and the United Fresh Tomato Metrics workgroup released updated Tomato Guidelines in Fall 2018, and recently released the corresponding Food Safety Programs & Auditing Protocol for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain (Tomato Metrics). The workgroup identified that many of the Tomato Metrics requirements were functionally the same as criteria in the Harmonized Standards. As such, in the 2019 revision of the Tomato Metrics, the requirements were greatly reduced compared to previous versions.

Those items that remain are either unique to the tomato industry or not currently in the Harmonized Standards. In the new format, tomato operations may use Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS), Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA), or the Produce Handling Assurance Standard (PHA) as the base food safety protocol, with the Tomato Metrics included as an addendum/add-on. 

Final versions now available

The final versions are now available on the Quicklinks section of the  HPSS website and  PHA website or directly available from United Fresh  GAP Harmonization Initiative website under the “Download the Tomato Metrics” tab.  Spanish translations for the metrics are in progress. For farming operations, the producers and CBs may use the Open Field Production or Greenhouse requirements; Packing or pre-process operations and CBs may use the Packinghouse protocols.

GLOBALG.A.P. will update CBs accordingly when an auditing checklist version of the metrics (excel) is available. CBs may immediately begin to use the updated metrics as an addendum/add-on, using the protocols verbatim, and record justifications for each control point, report non-compliances and corrective actions in the same approach as HPSS, IFA, or PHA. Congratulations to United Fresh for this great work! Stay tuned!