Best Practices

Farm operations vary based on their equipment and other resources.  However unique, all hop growers should commit to continuous improvement of farming and harvesting practices and crop quality.  Some growers subscribe to third-party audited quality control programs such as GLOBALG.A.P. and USDA GAP.  Some customers (hop merchant companies and brewers) provide specific guidance to their growers for food safety and quality control practices.

Over the next few years Hop Growers of America will develop several “Best Practices” modules that will allow growers to self-certify the care and attention they invest in their crop, insuring customers receive hops that are safe and consistently high in quality. 

While future modules will only be available in the Member Area of this website, we feel Food Safety practices during hop harvest are critically important for all growers, regardless of membership in HGA.  This self-certification Food Safety/Harvest Practices program that is consistent with third-party certified programs has been developed, and includes templates for many of the documents you will need to document your practices.

FOOD SAFETY MODULE 1 - HARVEST PRACTICES (Version 2, updated February 2017)

MODULE 1 ATTACHMENTS (Updated February 2017)

We encourage all growers who are selling hops commercially to utilize this program and document their food safety practices.

The interactive version of Level 1 Food Safety will be included in the Member Area, to be launched in the next few months.  This self-certification format will generate a Food Safety Policy and Certificate of Compliance for growers who implement and complete the documentation of required food safety practices.  This certificate may be copied and provided to customers.


FSMA

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. Several Fact Sheets and presentations on the law may be found on the US Food and Drug Administration website.

Hop Growers of America plans to develop a module on FSMA compliance for hop growers during 2017.  It will be available on the Member Section of this website.

Compliance dates for covered activities, except for those involving sprouts, after the effective date of the final rule are:

  • Very small businesses, those with more than $25,000 but no more than $250,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: four years.
  • Small businesses, those with more than $250,000 but no more than $500,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: three years.
  • All other farms: two years
  • Note: Businesses with less than $25,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period are not required to comply with FSMA.
  • The compliance dates for certain aspects of the water quality standards, and related testing and recordkeeping provisions, allow an additional two years beyond each of these compliance dates for the rest of the final rule

Compliance dates for modified requirements for farms eligible for a qualified exemption are:

  • For labeling requirement (if applicable): January 1, 2020
  • For retention of records supporting eligibility for a qualified exemption: Effective date of the final rule
  • For all other modified requirements:
  • Very small businesses, four  years after the effective date of the final rule
  • Small businesses, three years after the effective date of the final rule

Compliance dates for covered activities involving sprouts after the effective date of the final rule are:

  • Very small businesses: three years
  • Small businesses: two years
  • All other farms: one year

Hop Growers of America PO Box 1207 \ Moxee, WA 98936 USA 1.509.453.4749