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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, DEC. 29, 2008

CONTACT: Peter Thornton, assistant director for international trade
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
(919) 733-7912, ext. 248, or Peter.Thornton@ncagr.gov

Golden LEAF grant to fund GLOBALGAP certifications for farmers

Information session on GLOBALGAP to be held Jan. 15 in Goldsboro  

RALEIGH — The Golden LEAF Foundation has extended its grant to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to fund the GLOBAL Good Agricultural Practices certification process for eligible farmers.

GLOBALGAP certification, formerly know as EUREGAP, is the standard used to determine if a supplier is qualified to sell to most major European grocery chains. The certification is also used as a base for other export certifications around the world.

“The grant will benefit North Carolina growers who are interested in extending their sales to international markets. We have seen growth in exports of N.C. agricultural products since starting this certification program, and we want to see that continue,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The number of paid certifications is limited, so I hope that farmers will apply early to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The 2009 crop-year award is for produce crops. NCDA&CS will begin collecting applications immediately, with a Feb. 28 deadline. Participants will be selected based on a number of factors, including export potential.

An information session on GLOBALGAP Certification will be held Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. at the Wilson Ag Center in Wilson. The session, sponsored by the N.C. Sweet Potato Commission and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will give growers an overview of the requirements to become GLOBALGAP certified.

“Golden LEAF is pleased to help North Carolina farmers become more competitive in today’s global marketplace,” said Dan Gerlach, president of the Golden LEAF Foundation. “Providing opportunity for growth is paramount to the success of a competitive agriculture community.”

GLOBALGAP is a different process than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Good Agricultural Practices certification, meaning USDA GAP-certified farmers are not automatically GLOBALGAP-certified.

The goal of the GLOBALGAP certification project is to provide a competitive edge to North Carolina produce exporters in Europe and other international markets. GLOBALGAP is a certification adopted by a group of European retailers.

Farmers interested in exporting should contact the NCDA&CS to initiate the pre-certification process. A GLOBALGAP auditor will conduct an unofficial audit of the candidate’s operations. The feedback from the audit will help the candidate know what is specifically needed to become GLOBALGAP-certified. All information will remain confidential between the farmer and auditor.

For more information, call Peter Thornton, NCDA&CS assistant director for international marketing, at (919) 733-7912.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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