North America's leading greenhouse operators to deliver highest indoor
food production safety and quality standards.
VANCOUVER, June 18 /CNW/ - The North American Greenhouse/Hothouse
Vegetable Growers (NAGHVG), an association formed after three years of
research and review to protect and support superior standards of excellence in
food safety and quality, has developed its own certification standards.
Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, the NAGHVG was founded by leading
North American greenhouse growers:
- Windset Farms;
- Village Farms;
- Eurofresh Farms;
- Houweling's Hot House; and
- Gipaanda Greenhouses.
Along with the logos of the NAGHVG founders, the "Certified Greenhouse"
logo informs consumers and retailers that what they are buying has been
produced using the safest possible growing technique - certified greenhouse
grown. The NAGHVG certification is also intended to respond to concern within
the industry that some vegetables labelled hothouse or greenhouse aren't grown
hydroponically in clean, food safe environments.
In light of recent food safety issues such as the tomato salmonella
scare, the NAGHVG wants customers to know that "Certified Greenhouse"
vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers are grown indoors
according to standards that include food safe, controlled hydroponic
production and sustainable indoor growing practices.
Research undertaken over the past three years by the NAGHVG indicates
that there are substantial food safety and supply benefits to growing
vegetables indoors in "Certified Greenhouse" conditions. Standards include:
- Every aspect of the growing process is monitored and controlled, from
irrigation to climate control and growing medium;
- Vegetables can be protected from pollution, wildlife and other
potential contaminants, which creates conditions for the safest
produce growing method possible;
- Eco-friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is used; and
- Certified greenhouses can provide reliable supply throughout the
The "Certified Greenhouse" program will involve ongoing audits to ensure
that certified producers continue to meet the rigorous standards set by the
association. Certification will be granted exclusively to greenhouse
operations that comply with the following NAGHVG definition of a greenhouse:
- A fully enclosed permanent aluminum or steel structure clad either in
glass or impermeable plastic for the controlled environment growing
of certified greenhouse/hothouse vegetables;
- Facility must use computerized irrigation and climate control
systems, including heating and ventilation capabilities;
- Produce must be grown in a soilless medium that substitutes for soil;
- Must use hydroponic methods; and
- Must practice Integrated Pest Management.
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