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Certified Greenhouse Farmer Certification with SCS

Certified Greenhouse Farmers

Recognizing Greenhouses on a Sustainable Path

Assure customers that your greenhouse vegetable production operation has been independently verified by SCS Global Services to meet the best practice criteria established by Certified Greenhouse Farmers. Certified Greenhouse Farmers is a trade association serving export markets around the world. It was specifically created to help premier greenhouse vegetable farmers navigate the complex environmental and production challenges of its members, and gain recognition for their accomplishments.

The certification program addresses issues ranging from greenhouse design and operation to environmental protection, waste management and product integrity. Farmers who successfully meet the criteria of this exacting program are able to display the Certified Greenhouse Farmers label.


Carole Langston
Account Executive

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Program Details


All members of the exclusive Certified Greenhouse Farmers trade organization comply with the following conditions:

  • Meet the definition of "greenhouse" as defined by Certified Greenhouse Farmers;
  • Have successfully completed a GFSI-level food safety audit, and have addressed all corrective actions; and
  • Have been audited and certified by SCS.
Certification Scope

Greenhouse farmers are evaluated in six areas of performance:

  • Structural and environmental controls

    Covers structural requirements, computerized systems for irrigation and climate control.

  • Water resource management

    Addresses monitoring and conserving water use, protection of water quality, wastewater treatment and reuse.

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures

    Includes monitoring, reporting, and pest treatment protocols, with emphasis on biological, mechanical or cultural controls.

  • Plant nutrition management

    Plant nutrition assessment and nutritional input recordkeeping.

  • Ecosystem management

    Preservation of the integrity of local environments that surround greenhouse operations.

  • Integrated waste management

    Includes minimized packaging, waste reduction, recycling.

Two Tiers of Performance

Farmers can qualify under Tier 1 or 2. The basic certification, Tier 1, is based on conformance with 90% of the Tier 1 requirements. The second, higher Tier 2 additionally requires conformance with 80% of Tier 2 requirements.

Complementary Services

As a prerequisite, participating greenhouse farmers are required to comply with applicable food safety standards, and must have undergone a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)-driven Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked audit. SCS Global Services can combine GFSI and HACCP services with your CGF certification for greatest cost and resource effectiveness. Take advantage of these and other certification, auditing and testing services, including: organic, flavor, nutrition and pesticide residue free program options.


  1. Apply for Certification

    Once SCS receives notice of your application to Certified Greenhouse Farmers, we will send you the SCS Assessment Services Agreement and Greenhouse Registry. Review, sign, and return to the Agreement to SCS, along with your completed Greenhouse Registry.

  2. Authorize a Work Order

    SCS will prepare a work order that includes the scope, cost and details of the audit. Once you authorize the work order, we schedule your evaluation audit.

  3. Written Documentation

    You will need to complete a Greenhouse Production Plan (GPP) that details your operation - from infrastructure through all aspects of production. You also need to provide evidence of compliance to a recognized Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked food safety audit.

  4. Evaluation Audit

    Your audit includes an on-site inspection, document review, evidence gathering, and interviews with office and management staff, and employees. The timeframe for completion is typically 1 day per site.

  5. Audit Report

    SCS sends you the final audit report within 15-20 business days. Your response period begins on the date the Report is sent to you.

  6. Corrective Action Plan

    Your Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is your response to any non-conformities raised by the audit, including corrective and preventative actions and evidence of implementation.

  7. Certification Decision

    SCS reviews your CAP and renders a certification decision. Successful applicants receive a certificate valid for one year and the CGF certification mark from Certified Greenhouse Farmers. Annual audits are required to maintain certification status.


Some of the benefits to participating farmers include:

  • Reduce operational costs based on reduced energy and water consumption.
  • Manage risks through successful implementation of IPM and food safety programs.
  • Create a healthier environment through reduced chemical risks, prevention of soil erosion, and other environmental controls.
  • Worker and shareholder satisfaction built through company commitment to sound environmental stewardship.
  • Stand apart from your competitors in the marketplace.


What is Certified Greenhouse Farmers?

As described on the Certified Greenhouse Farmers (CGF) website: "CGF is a trade association of vegetable farmers who are certified as 'the best of the best' and meet a strict, vetted and published standard defining greenhouse growing. Through this certification program, which is independently audited by SCS, Certified Greenhouse Farmers protect the integrity of the greenhouse growing process."

How do I prepare for certification?

You will need to complete a Greenhouse Production Plan (GPP) that details your operation - from infrastructure through all aspects of production. The GPP details water usage, pesticide application, recycling, and attention to external environmental concerns. You also need to provide evidence of compliance to a recognized Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked food safety audit, including evidence of corrective action for any non-conformities.

How do consumers know my product is certified?

After certification, CGF will issue a membership certificate and enter into a royalty agreement with the member to allow the use of the CGF seal on all packaging and promotional activities, in accordance with the Trademark Licensing Agreement. CGF will then reference the member on its website and in marketing activities.

How is food safety managed under the CGF program?

Food safety is considered a major priority by CGF. A Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked audit, along with applicable commodity-specific guidance, is required. Members must test their irrigation water for microbial contamination, and are required to implement sanitation practices in facilities that surpass industry-standard requirements.


Certified Greenhouse Farmers Certification Standard 2.0 (2013)

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