CAPS Resources

Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) Resources (Templates, Examples, Information)

This page is actively being updated.  If you don't see what you are looking for please see the old CAPS information page HERE, or search the Produce Safety Portal

Feel free to reach out to Hans Estrin if you need anything (hestrin@uvm.edu, 802 380 2109)

CAPS Requirements:

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).

CAPS Produce Safety Plan Preview-- Although CAPS is completed on-line here  you can preview the CAPS Produce Safety Plan Prompts HERE, or click HERE for an editable word document of the prompts.

The CAPS+ Program, designed for wholesale market access, has additional requirements described HERE.

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 3-rd party on-farm audit of  your farm to verify the integrity of your CAPS+ and LGS plan/documentation. 

This CAPS+ Self-Audit checklist helps growers complete an internal review, and prepare for their audit.  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:

  1. CAPS+ Leafy Greens Supplement Plan

  2. CAPS+ Leafy Greens Supplement Resource

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). 

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. 

Compost and Manure Management

Cleaning and Sanitizing Resources

CAPS Water Test  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.