Many growers are coming to us with questions about on-farm food safety, so we are dedicating this month’s Grower’s Toolbox to on-farm food safety! We know that the food safety world is rapidly changing and can be a daunting task for growers to keep up with, which is why we are here to help! The Local Produce Safety team has compiled answers and solutions to the most common questions and challenges growers face implementing and maintaining an on-farm food safety program. All of these things can be accessed anytime in our FSMA + Food Safety Hub. Our goal is to help growers feel more confident implementing a food safety program in order to help ensure their long-term success.
If you were GAP certified to the Harmonized GAP Standard in 2017 or before, there is some important information we have included regarding changes that the USDA has made to the Standard, effective as of May 1, 2018.
But before we dive too deeply into this special food safety edition, we want to send a gentle reminder that it’s not too late to fill-out the 2017 Ag Census. Forgive us for sounding like a broken record, but thus far, responses from NC and SC farmers are low. Remember, these only come around every five years and reflect an accurate picture of agriculture as a whole around the nation. We want you to be heard and considered. Participation is especially important by organic, direct-market, urban, beginning, and socially disadvantaged farmers. These farmers are historically undercounted, which means that programs that support them are historically underfunded.