The Farm Products Unit provides optional third-party grading and certification services and third-party food safety verification audits to the fruit and vegetable industry throughout New York. These programs operate on delegated authority from the USDA. 

Grading, certification, and auditing services include:

  • Terminal market/receiving point inspections
  • Shipping point inspections
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits
  • Shell egg voluntary grading
  • Quality control
  • Inspection of various farm products purchased by government agencies, private companies, or institutions

The Farm Products Unit also carries out programs like the USDA Pesticide Data Program, New York State branding laws inspections, seed potato field inspections for seed certification, shell egg surveillance, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), and controlled atmosphere apple storage licensing.

All services are designed to assist the orderly marketing of farm products from producer to consumer, and are available to interested parties on a fee basis. Contact the Farm Products Unit for more information, or to schedule a service.

Terminal Market Inspection

In a terminal market inspection, our USDA-licensed inspectors inspect produce coming into New York State. The inspection is done to determine if the shipment meets contract terms at the time of arrival, and may include inspecting products for quality, condition, size, weight, count, temperature, and freezing, as requested.

Inspection results are reported electronically using the USDA Fresh Electronic Information Reporting System (FEIRS). Inspectors issue official USDA certificates that are accepted as prima facie evidence in federal and state courts.

This inspection service is available for a fee, and may be requested by any interested party.

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Shipping Point Inspection

This service involves inspection and certification of commodities grown in New York and shipped, sold, and marketed within or out of the state. Federally licensed state inspectors inspect and certify New York produced commodities for quality (grade), condition, size, net weight, count, and other factors required by users. 

Inspectors issue official USDA certificates that are accepted as prima facie evidence in federal and state courts. Those requiring an inspection can request that it be performed in the field, at a packing house, or at a cold storage facility.

This inspection service is available for a fee, and may be requested by any interested party.

Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices

The USDA GAP program is voluntary annual audit program that verifies implementation of good agricultural practices and good handling practices. We offer audit services for: 

  • Harmonized GAP
  • Harmonized GAP Plus+

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Shell Egg Grading

Our USDA trained and licensed graders provide shell egg grading services, including:

  • Continuous grading service on a resident basis
  • Continuous grading service on a nonresident basis
  • Noncontinuous grading service on a fee basis
  • Temporary grading service on a fee basis

This grading service is based on the USDA standards for grades and weight classes for shell eggs. The service may be based on institutional contract specifications or the specifications of the applicant, and is available at the eggs' origin, the packing location, and the destination.

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Quality Control

This service involves the inspection of products in orchards, fields, or packinghouses throughout New York State. The inspections are performed per agreement, on weekly or hourly bases during the harvesting, packing, and processing processes.

The inspections are based on specifications designed by growers, the companies involved, and USDA grades. Benefits of a quality control inspection include control of damage caused by pickers or harvesters, and determining the quality levels of the product being packed.

Purchased Farm Products Inspections

This service ensures that all products purchased by a government agency, private organization, or institution meet certain specifications. These inspections ensure that an organization is purchasing wholesome, high quality products at a competitive price, and prevent one bidder from gaining an undue advantage over another. Inspections are based on requested specifications.

Contact the Farm Products Unit

Contact us by phone:

Office: (518) 457-2090