Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) Resources (Templates, Examples, Information)
Feel free to reach out to Hans Estrin if you need anything (firstname.lastname@example.org, 802 380 2109)
CAPS farmers meet 17 requirements, which are summarized here. As a CAPS participant, you plan and verify meeting these requirements in your produce safety plan and in additional supporting documents. There are thee levels of CAPS participation (CAPS, CAPS+, and CAPS+LGS, aka Leafy Greens Supplement).
Supporting documents for these three level are compared in this table HERE.
Deadlines* for CAPS and CAPS+ are shown in this CAPS Timeline ( *deadlines are subject to change, and early submissions can accelerate certification process).
The CAPS+ Program, designed for wholesale market access, has additional requirements described HERE.
This CAPS+ Self-Audit checklist helps growers complete an internal review, and prepare for their audit.
CAPS + LGS (Leafy Greens Supplement):
Supplemental produce safety planning and verification is required by some buyers for higher risk crops (e.g. Hannaford, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Deep Root Coop). CAPS+ LGS is benchmark to USDA's Harmonized GAP+ Plus standard.
The CAPS+LGS program supports CAPS growers to meet these additional requirements, while the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (VAAFM) Produce Program provides the 3rd party on-farm audit of your farm to verify the integrity of your CAPS+ and LGS plan/documentation.
CAPS+LGS growers are additionally REQUIRED to complete and date this LGS Self-Audit review BEFORE their actual audit with VAAFM.
Verify implementation for the CAPS+LGS standard, growers customize and complete the following two templates(or equivalent forms), as needed, and then upload them to your CAPS+ Plan:
Templates and examples to support your CAPS Plan and its implementation/ verification:
Produce Safety MAP
CAPS requires a simple map of your farm that highlights the location relevant structures (e.g. restrooms, first aid, cold storage, stated land-based risks).
- See examples of a few CAPS plan farm maps HERE.
Farm Worker Health and Hygiene Policy and Training
All CAPS farms have a Health and Hygiene (HH) Policy. Farm employees are trained when they are hired (or rehired), and they sign that they have received this training. See the following templates for examples of CAPS HH polies on group sign-off forms. These forms should be customized by each farm, and are designed to hang on a clipboard in a common space.
- CAPS Minimum Healthy and Hygiene Policy and Group Sign-off Template
- CAPS + FSMA Minimum Health and Hygiene group and Group Sign-off Template
- USDA Harmonized GAP+ Plus Policy (additional requirements for Farms doing CAPS+ Leafy Greens Supplement to access markets)
Compost and Manure Management
- NOFA Guidelines--CAPS compost and manure standards reference the Vermont Organic Guidelines HERE
- CAPS Manure and Compost Management Log Templates (spread sheet)
Cleaning and Sanitizing Resources
- Wash Pack Cleaning Checklist--Template
- Clean Greens Video: A standard operating procedure (SOP) for triple-rinsing greens (from Walker Farm)
- Sanitizer Dilution Calculator
- A Guide to Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting for Produce Farms
- Containers Cleaning Checklist--Template
- Bulk Bin Cleaning Checklist
- Orchard Picker Bucket Care
CAPS Water Test Information
- CAPS Water Testing Instructions and Information
- VT Department of Health -- Drinking water testing, and NEW County Currier Service Drop off Information
CAPS+ Mock Recall
Click HERE for an example/ template of a "Mock Recall" email exchange. A mock recall is an additional annual requirement for CAPS+ and CAPS+LGS certificates.