The CQP was created in 2009 and launched in 2010 to identify, train and support specialty crop growers who maintain existing BMPs, food safety procedures as well as environmental and sustainability standards. The Commonwealth Quality Seal provides an unspoken guarantee that products are not only Massachusetts grown, harvested and tended with care, but that your practices adhere to a top-level set of criteria and environmental standards that are among the world’s best.

Defining Local

The Commonwealth Quality Program defines local products as Massachusetts grown. This allows all of our farmers, foresters, lobstermen and producers to qualify for certification. The "Find Local Products" tool allows consumers to find producers even closer to home.

Food Safety

Commonwealth Quality requires that producers and harvesters employ food safety standards that minimize the risk of microbial contamination and food-borne illnesses. This requirement is accomplished through adherence to existing food safety assurance audit programs, such as the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) program, as well as other third party food safety audits, based on the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) guidance document.

Massachusetts producers can also fulfill the food safety requirement by both completing the University of Massachusetts GAPs session(s) and employing food safety practices identified in the Best Management Practices (BMPs) GAPs checklist developed by the University of Massachusetts Extension Service in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

Commonwealth Quality ensures that certified fresh products are grown and harvested using practices that minimize the risk of food borne illness by utilizing existing standards and BMPs. For further information on CQP program requirements, please visit the dedicated pages for each sector.

Environmental Sustainability

Commonwealth Quality program participants must adhere to sustainable and environmentally safe practices outlined in the Massachusetts Best Management Practices (BMPs) for each sector. The BMPs are designed to identify and promote production practices that, protect, enhance and sustain the environment as well as our natural resources.

Commonwealth Quality certified products protect the environment by minimizing the impact of long distance storage and transportation, evaluate and adopt energy saving initiatives, and control and minimize farm inputs such as soil amendments, water usage and pesticide use to ensure safety.

For further information on sustainable practice, please visit the sector pages on sustainability requirements.

Advisory Committees

Each sector has a dedicated Advisory Team and Brand Ambassadors that assist with the development of the Program Requirements.


Richard Bonnanno
Pleasant Valley Gardens
255 Merrimack St.
Methuen, MA 01844

Fred Heyes
Heyes Forest Products
34 Daniel Shays Hwy.
Orange, MA 01364

David Casoni
Secretary & Treasurer
Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association
8 Otis Place
Scituate, MA 02066

Steve Verrill
Verrill Farms
11 Wheeler Road
Concord, MA 01742

David Short
Amherst Woodworking & Supply, Inc.
30 Industrial Drive
Northampton, MA 01061

Steve Holler
Quiet Storm Ocean Ventures
35 Rockland Street
Quincy, MA 02169

Mark Parlee
Parlee Farms
95 Farwell Road
Tyngsboro, MA 01879

Emily Boss
Massachusetts Woodlands Cooperative
One Sugarloaf Street
South Deerfield, MA 01373

Rob Martin
Salty Lou’s Live Lobsters
392 Route 6A
East Sandwich, MA 02537

Related Pages

Find Local Products: