- Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
- Good Management Practices (GMP)
- Third Party Audits
An initiative undertaken by Jersey Fruit and its growers in 1999 established a food safety program. A food safety consultant with expertise specific to the fruit industry has worked with Jersey Fruit to audit all farms and facilities and to develop good agricultural practices (GAPs) for all farms and good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for all facilities.
Jersey Fruit growers were ahead of the curve in the food safety area because of the stringent state regulatory environment in the areas of worker protection, pesticide use, and water quality requirements. Each grower now has a food safety manual, designed specifically for their operation that outlines their food safety program in detail and includes all monitoring logs to document their program.
All Jersey Fruit growers and packing facilities have received 3rd-party audits. All new growers in the future will be required to establish a formal food safety program and to receive 3rd-party audits.
- Strict set of quality standards
- Strict set of pre-cooling practices
- Comprehensive inspection program
- Orchard enhancement committee
- Integrated Pest Management Program
- Sustainability guidelines
Jersey Fruit is committed to maintaining a comprehensive quality assurance program that ensures high quality products that are highly desirable as well as safe for consumers. Adherence to a strict set of quality standards that provide our growers with the incentive to harvest fruit with high maturity and full flavor is the backbone to our success.
Growers are required to maintain proper pre-cooling equipment and storage facilities. A comprehensive inspection program monitors every lot of fruit from the time it is delivered for packing through shipping. Growers receive constant written and verbal feedback on fruit quality.
Peach and nectarine growers have benefited from the cooperative’s “orchard enhancement committee” that provides educational opportunities for all Jersey Fruit growers with a focus on the younger generation. This committee provides educational opportunities through formal classroom sessions, grower round tables and orchard tours where member growers exchange information on production practices and techniques.
This program facilitates the exchange of useful information learned by our growers’ many years of sustainably growing fruit and also facilitates the adoption of new and improved practices.
Jersey Fruit’s growers have been proactive in working with Cooperative Extension, USDA, and the blueberry and tree fruit industry to develop improved varieties for New Jersey and to develop programs such as IPM that monitor pests and that allow for efficient and responsible use of pesticides. Jersey Fruit recently teamed up with SureHarvest, of Sequel, California to assist the growers with identifying and streamlining their farm level changes that align with sustainable farming guidelines.
Jersey Fruit blueberry growers have the advantage of a USDA cranberry and blueberry research station located in the heart of our blueberry and cranberry production area. The blueberry industry has worked closely with the USDA scientists at this station and have benefited from the development of new varieties, IPM practices, and findings of the nutritional and health benefits of fresh blueberries.