This paper shares challenges faced and overcome by four African American women on their 2013 journey to secure USDA’s Produce Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Harmonized Food Safety Standards with the Global Addendum (Global Markets Primary Production Assessments: GMPPA). Collaboration, consistent training, and technical support from the Tuskegee University Extension and Research staff, and the Small Farmers Agricultural Cooperative undergirded the preparation of the farms for GAPs Certification. The timely sharing of staff expertise and experience from commercial partners (Walmart, Purivida, C.H. Robinson, W.P. Rawls), and support from the USDA (Strike Force Initiative) were important contributors to the positive outcomes described. The outcomes elucidate the adaptability, accountability, and professionalism each participant displayed to prepare her farm for audits; maintain food safety records, and achieve GAPs certification in marketable crops.


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