The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based food safety certification organization’s Certified Greenhouse Farmers program allows greenhouse growers to demonstrate sustainability and quality best practices and food safety management, according to a news release.
Offered through the Certified Greenhouse Farmers trade association, the certification can be an addendum performed in conjunction with a Global Food Safety Initiative audit or bundled with other audits or sustainability services, according to the release.
As greenhouse produce becomes more available in stores, shoppers and retailers want reliable quality and sustainable sourcing options and the Certified Greenhouse seal helps assure the produce was grown in environments meeting production, safety and environmental leadership standards that include water conservation, waste reduction, recycling and pest and disease management, according to the release.
“Independent validation of sustainability and quality claims is crucial for greenhouse growers in this innovative industry to market their produce,” Jaclyn Bowen, NSF’s general manager, said in the release. “We look forward to using our auditing and certification expertise with the Certified Greenhouse Farmers trade association to evaluate additional greenhouses’ quality management and sustainable production practices.”
To receive certification, greenhouse owners must be association members and meet the organization’s definition of a greenhouse, including requirements of growing in permanent, enclosed glass or plastic structures and grow via computerized irrigation and climate control systems, according to the release.