Seeking certification through the GroupGAP program has been promoted as cost saving when compared to seeking certification as an individual grower because group members pool resources and share costs of the audit requirements.

Improved Market Access

Creates Opportunities
GroupGAP makes food safety certification accessible for small producers and opens new doors to larger, more stable and more profitable markets. Certified growers have opportunities to distribute to local markets, such as colleges/universities, community organizations, corporate cafeterias, early childcare, eldercare facilities, hospitals, school districts/school food authorities, restaurants, retailers, prisons, and food distributors.

Buyers can aggregate groups of producers through a central entity, such as a GroupGAP co-op or food hub. Aggregation helps buyers to meet growing consumer demand for food with verifiable commitments to growing standards and food safety by pooling broad bases of local producers who meet those standards.

Shared Use Savings

Improves Operations & Reduces Financial Burden


GroupGAP allows for cost and labor savings from standardization. Growers who utilize the same bins, boxes or other production equipment can facilitate bulk purchasing of these items. Creating standardized forms and tracking systems, such as shared water testing results, as part of the group QMS and

food safety plan
also provides the ability to track and target cost-saving improvements.

Technical Support

GroupGAP allows for cost savings with technical assistance providers. Members share costs for a facilitator and auditors which reduces the individual producer’s financial burden.

Food Safety Culture

Economic Risk & Food-borne Illness Reduction


GroupGAP creates and reinforces a network-wide culture of food safety with a built-in community for learning and support. Food safety compliance becomes more deeply embedded in an organization’s values and practices by increasing producer knowledge and personal investment in food safety issues. The ability for producers to work together enhances the degree of food safety compliance and improves audit pass rates.

Environment for Learning

Participation in a GroupGAP group provides a welcoming environment for new members and allows all members to learn from each other and improve their practices.

How GroupGAP Works

See the process from start to finish.

Audit Types

The USDA GAP Program offers two types of audit services – a process audit and a system audit.

Getting Started

Find the resources and training to help prepare for your GAP or GroupGAP audit.