The USDA will be providing $3.7 million in assistance to fruit and vegetable growers in 16 states, including Hawai‘i, through a GAP Assistance Program to increase market access by covering the costs of undergoing a voluntary USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit in 2019. This funding will help reduce costs for Hawai‘i farmers, and getting the GAP audit will help them meet buyer requirements. Buyers are increasingly requiring rigorous third-party food safety certifications from produce growers, and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) offers several different types of GAP audits to suppliers throughout the produce production and supply chain. These 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 food safety hazards. The Cooperative Extension farm food safety team will also work with growers to help them understand and meet the requirements to successfully pass these types of audits.