The Certified Greenhouse Farmers (CGF) program enables high-tech greenhouse growers to demonstrate sustainability and quality best practices in combination with superior food safety management

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and FRESNO, Calif. - NSF Agriculture, part of  NSF International, the leading food safety certification body in North America, now offers Certified Greenhouse Farmers (CGF) certification globally for the CGF trade association, which  enables greenhouse growers to demonstrate sustainable production practices and quality management systems while also verifying they meet superior food safety practices. The certification can be an addendum performed in conjunction with a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety certification audit, bundled with other food safety audits or sustainability services, or an independent certification, reducing producers’ costs.

As greenhouse-grown produce becomes more prevalent in supermarkets, consumers and retailers are looking for reliable quality and sustainable sourcing options. CGF certification and the associated Certified Greenhouse seal ensures that produce was grown in an environment meeting strict standards for production, food safety and environmental stewardship, including water conservation, waste reduction, recycling and pest and disease management.

“Independent validation of sustainability and quality claims is crucial for greenhouse growers in this innovative industry to market their produce. We look forward to using our auditing and certification expertise with the Certified Greenhouse Farmers trade association to evaluate additional greenhouses’ quality management and sustainable production practices,” said Jaclyn Bowen, General Manager of NSF Agriculture.

“Food safety is an obvious priority for consumers.  But, consumers also want their food grown in a sustainable manner.  CGF members recognize that consumer demand, which is why our members are audited for food safety, sustainability and environmental standards.  NSF is uniquely positioned to audit to that series of standards which ensures the integrity of the CGF certification seal found on greenhouse vegetables produced by our members,” said Ed Beckman, President of Certified Greenhouse Farmers.

Before seeking CGF certification, greenhouses must be members of the Certified Greenhouse Farmers association and meet the organization’s definition of a greenhouse. This includes meeting requirements such as growing in a permanent, enclosed glass or plastic structure, using computerized irrigation and climate control, growing in a soilless medium with hydroponic methods, and employing an integrated pest management system to minimize the need for pesticides.  An additional requirement for CGF certification is completing a GFSI-benchmarked food safety audit, either prior to or in conjunction with CGF certification.

Final CGF certification for high-tech greenhouses requires a yearly audit against CGF’s greenhouse growing standards, including structural and environmental controls, water resource management, pest management procedures and integrated waste management. Upon certification, produce grown by a certified operation is authorized to display the Certified Greenhouse seal. 

For more information about NSF International’s agriculture programs, visit nsf.org or contact Nova Sayers at agriculture@nsf.org or 510-421-2805.

Editor's note:  To schedule an interview with an NSF International expert, contact NSF Senior Communications Manager Greta Houlahan at media@nsf.org or +1 734-913-5723.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

The NSF Global Food Division provides expertise and accredited services across all supply chain sectors, from agriculture, produce, processing, distribution and dairy, to seafood, retail and restaurants. NSF is the leading certifier to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) in North America (certifying to SQF, BRC, GLOBALG.A.P., FSSC 22000, IFS, BAP, PrimusGFS  and CanadaGAP) and offers expert auditing, consulting and technical services, HACCP validation and inspection, organic food certification through Quality Assurance International (QAI), and specialty food verification and certification (including Non-GMO Project and gluten-free). NSF is also the leading certifier of foodservice equipment, nonfood compounds and bottled water/beverages.

Additional NSF International services include dietary supplement and nutritional ingredient certification; training, testing and consulting for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries; consumer product testing; drinking water certification and safety audits; sustainability solutions; and management systems registrations (e.g. ISO 9001, 22000, 14001).