; FSMA Education for Small and Limited Resource Producers | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name FSMA Education for Small and Limited Resource Producers

E'licia Chaverest and Duncan M. Chembezi


Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was developed to educate producers of the food system. This project is of particular importance because it increases producer and consumer awareness and understanding of food safety education, issues and conditions that enhance economic and market opportunities for growers as well as the resilience, sustainability, and well­being of small farm operations and communities.This collaborative project covering eleven counties dominated by small diversified fruits/vegetable operations in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The long-term goal is to expand market opportunities through produce safety education and outreach training for limited resource growers, thereby increase their operations’ viability, competitiveness, and profitability, for the longer term. The rationale is that preparing this segment of growers with the foundational principles of produce safety, food safety liability risks and management skills, will help them make better production, marketing and food safety decisions and comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Specifically, the project (1) delivers grower produce safety certification training and offers Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) education through grower-owned cooperatives; (2) provides technical assistance to guide growers in developing and adopting a comprehensive strategy for managing food safety liability risks; and (3) increases the level of stakeholder connectivity, collaboration and cohort feedback through a unified food safety communications platform and strategy among growers, mentors, and organizations which exist to support them in ways that connect them to produce safety resources and information needed when they need it the most. We believe that comprehensive produce safety education from farm to fork is crucial to decreasing the risk of outbreaks and enhancing grower access to expanding market opportunities for safe and nutritious fresh produce. The presentation will highlight the key partnerships and the implementation of the project and primarily results thus far.