Compliance Is Required In the Following Areas
- Core Standards
- GAPs and GHPs
- Administrative Requirements
- A violation of any Core Standard highlighted in BOLD lettering. All Core Standards I, II and III are considered MAJOR Compliance areas. Core Standards IV GAP/GHP in BOLD are considered MAJOR Compliance Areas.
- No more than three MAJOR Non-Compliance violations in any one Core Standard or three in any one of the three Core Standards (I,II, III) are grounds for FAILURE of the certification process. The inspector may terminate the audit at this time without completing the inspection. You will be charged for a full inspection. A re-inspection shall not be conducted for a minimum of 30 days.
- Any MAJOR Non-Compliance violation may constitute the removal of the farm from the program at any time. If this is the case, the farm will be immediately de-listed from the list of approved farms.
- The Compliance Board will rule on all the above actions. It is not the job of the inspector to determine what is or is not a MAJOR Non-Compliance.
- Any number of MINOR Non-Compliance violations may be found in any area of the inspection. MINOR Non-Compliance violations may constitute corrective action prior to granting of certification. MINOR Non-Compliance violations shall be corrected within 30 days of the official notification.
- The inspector may determine what is a MINOR Non-Compliance. The Compliance Board has the right to upgrade a MINOR Non-Compliance to a MAJOR Non-Compliance.
Administrative requirements are any item required of this certification. Examples include:
- Incomplete paperwork
- False paperwork
- False statements
- Non-payment of fees or expenses
Any other item that constitutes a breach of integrity.
- The inspector may make a number of recommendations during your inspection. These recommendations will be validated by the Compliance Board. They are expected to be acted upon by the producer by the next inspection.
- The inspector may make a number of administrative suggestions during the inspection. These are administrative suggestions only, and it is up to the farmer whether or not to act on these suggestions. They will not be mentioned in the report.
The inspector cannot and will not provide information on how to correct a violation or how to comply with a standard. THIS IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Please do not ask the inspector advice in this regard. Such actions may constitute the inspector losing their position and your farm being de-listed for a period of 5 years.
OPMA’s inspectors are fully trained on the standards and goals of OPMA. Inspectors are selected based on the following criteria:
ISO 17065 Inspector Qualification Requirements
- Inspection candidates will possess the following minimum criteria:
- Agricultural degree
- Three years farming experience in either general produce or specific commodity farming such as tree farming or grain
- GIP Course
- Inspector experience
Additional Information On the Above Requirements
- Education is required evidenced in the form of an agricultural degree from an accredited institution. This may be a 2 or 4 year degree or the successful completion of as many college courses. The degree should focus on fruit and vegetable production or related subjects. The Chair of the Major Technical Review Board shall make all final determination of adequacy.
- General hands-on experience in farming, fruit or vegetable production. Minimum 3 years hands-on experience.
- Specific experience in particular farming practices and commodities is a substitute for general experience and at times needed, but not required for qualification. The Chair of the Major Technical Review Board shall make all final determination of adequacy.
- OPMA Inspector Good Inspection Practices (GIP) Course successful completion.
- 3 years or 6 inspections, inspector documented experience.
Notes: Completion of the GIP course and meeting all of the above requirements still requires field examination, report review and final approval by the Major Technical Review Board of all work prior to full inspector status.
The Chair of the Major Technical Review Board shall make all final determinations of adequacy on the above requirements. If you have concerns about meeting the above criteria it is highly encouraged that you contact Karl Kolb Ph.D., with your questions before beginning the GIP course.
There are no guarantees that completion of the above requirements and courses will ensure inspector status.
What to Expect of the Inspector
- OPMA Identification Card
- Overview of the inspection criteria
- Overview of the scoring criteria
- Overview of reviews, appeals and mediation procedures
- Brief overview to their experience and training
- Request for an overview of your farm and farming practices, farm history and challenges
- Walk around of your facility and farm
- Inspection of your records
- Questions and Answers on the Inspection
- Exit Briefing (The Exit Briefing will list all non-compliance areas.)
Your official report will follow in 10 business days.
Discipline | Denial
The following are conditions that may lead to suspension, denial or loss of certification or membership.
- Non-payment of dues, fees or other requirements set forth in these documents in a timely manner.
- Not updating information in a timely manner with regard to your inspection, certification or membership.
- Conveying a falsehood to an official of OPMA.
- A major non-compliance with a recognized authority with no remedial action in a timely manner.
- A violation of a state or federal regulation.
- Knowledge of, the sale of or providing in any fashion contaminated product to the public which has the potential for endangering public health.
An Unsatisfactory rating will be assigned to the entire inspection or audit when an item or items during an inspection or audit represents a violation of the following:
- If an imminent produce safety hazard exists,
- If produce safety programs are nonexistent or deficient such that they do not comply with the standards herein or those of competent authority,
- If produce is adulterated such that it bears or contains an added poisonous or deleterious substance, it consists in whole or in part of any filth, putrid, or decomposed substances not allowed by the state or federal regulators, competent authority or it is otherwise unfit for use as food, it has been harvested, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions, whereby, it may have been contaminated with filth, or whereby, it may have been rendered injurious to health.
- If a violation of the standards as set forth by this agreement or competent authority is noted that is an imminent produce safety risk,
- If a violation of state or federal agrochemical regulations is noted, that would represent a significant departure from the regulations or would cause an imminent produce safety risk,
- Any act or situation deemed an immediate risk to produce safety.
Examples of conditions most commonly found which will lead to an Unsatisfactory rating:
- Rodent bait stations with rodenticide used for routine monitoring inside of buildings used for storage of packing materials, produce, seeds, etc.
- Evidence of birds inside of storage or packing facilities.
- Evidence of rodent excreta or gnawing on produce or packaging to contain or contains produce.
- Agrochemicals (pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer) or other hazardous chemicals stored in crop/storage areas with evidence of spillage that may cause contamination to produce, packaging and or crops.
- Mislabeling of produce containers.
- Mislabeled containers or reuse of agrochemical containers for other purposes.
- Use of biosolids in any fashion.
- Contaminated raw commodities from human or animal blood and not removed from saleable produce and destroyed.
- Produce shipped in outbound transport vehicles with conditions that pose a contamination risk to produce.
- Non-potable water and or ice utilized at or after packing.
- Use of cleaning utensils from rest rooms, field sanitation units on crop contact surfaces.
- Field sanitation units or rest rooms and proper supplies not readily available to anyone near a crop or saleable produce.
- Violation of any state or federal requirement.