Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) as defined by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA:
GAP and GHP are voluntary audits that focus on best agricultural practices to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP & GHP audits verify adherence to the recommendations made in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (pdf) and industry recognized food safety practices.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) as defined by the Food & Drug Administration:
A systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards.
Organic Agriculture as defined by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA:
Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.
Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives.
Organic farms and processors:
- Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
- Support animal health and welfare
- Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
- Only use approved materials
- Do not use genetically modified ingredients
- Receive annual onsite inspections
- Separate organic food from non-organic food
The definition of “Natural” as defined by the Food & Drug Administration:
From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. For more information, see “Natural” on Food Labeling.
The definition of “Free Range or Free Roaming” as defined for Meat & Poultry Labeling Terms by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA:
Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.
The definition of “Local” as defined by Localecopia Marketplace:
While no uniform definition of local exists, Localecopia Marketplace defines local by the geographic boundaries of the state of Florida.