Peanut Services is a grading and inspection program in the Division of Commodity Services that operates under a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and VDACS. Inspectors are trained and employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and licensed by the USDA.
Peanut Services provides inspection and certification services to growers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers of peanuts. It provides sampling and grading services to Virginia’s shelling mills and buying stations. The program also grades and inspects imported nuts. Inspection and certification is based on USDA grades, various state grades, or individual contract specifications. Inspections are conducted during or after processing, as fresh product is packed at the shipping point, or even at harvest sites throughout the state. Aflatoxin (mold) testing in peanuts and peanut products is also offered to ensure peanuts are fit for human consumption.
Product quality and condition are determined for sales purposes, for verification of contract terms, or export requirements. Inspection results are also used to determine grower payments, product storage life, and the best use for particular product lots. Certificates issued by the programs are accepted as legal evidence of product quality and are used as a basis for establishing commodity value in commercial transactions. Inspection and certification are voluntary services, typically paid by user fees.