CFSC works in partnership with organizations around the country to build the capacity of limited resource producers in addressing food safety and liability insurance requirements of institutional markets. This page features activities conducted and resources developed through these projects, which are funded through the USDA Risk Management Agency.
The purpose of this email list is to network, share resources, and exchange ideas on strategies for building the capacity of limited resource producers to address the food safety and liability insurance requirements of institutional markets. Join the discussion.
8/28/12 webinar: Working with Immigrant Farmers
CFSC invited three speakers to discuss their experiences in working with immigrant farmers on food safety and liability insurance issues.
Andrea Bye, Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS), a program Southern New Hampshire Services
Jennifer Hashley, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in MA (NESFP)
6/12/12 webinar: Innovative Approaches to Food Safety and Options for Crop Insurance
CFSC invited three speakers to present tools and approaches for small and limited resource farmers to address food safety requirements and evaluate options for crop insurance.
Cheryl Wixson, Organic Marketing Consultant and Food Safety Specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), presented MOFGA’s educational approach to farm food safety for small, diversified farms and limited resource producers. The Basics of Farm Food Safety uses the components of the National Organic Program and the organic farm plan to provide producers with a quide to develop farm food safety plans that have farm to fork traceability, a vital and necessary component for markets like hospitals, institutions and food processors that require a food safety protocol.
Jeff Schahczenski, Agricultural Economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), discussed what options are available for crop insurance for smaller diversified producers. He focused on the Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-lite), a unique whole farm revenue federally subsidized insurance product. A tool called the AGR-Lite Wizard that NCAT developed with RMA can assist farmers in evaluating whether AGR-Lite insurance will assist them with crop and livestock loss protection.
Mary Staak, Risk Management Specialist with the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), gave a tour of links and tools on RMA’s website that are helpful to small farmers, organic producers, and limited resource farmers. She also demonstrated how to access crop fact sheets, crop insurance policies, and crop specific insurance information via the Actuarial Information Browser.
4/19/12 webinar: The Sodexo Supply Chain
Sodexo is a provider of integrated food and facility management services in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, serving 9.3 million meals in 6,000 locations every day. Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan is their strategic sustainability plan that includes “14 Sustainability Commitments”, several of which touch on the importance of increasing local and sustainable foods and therefore supporting the community. In this webinar, Sodexo representatives reviewed specifics about food safety and liability insurance related to the Sodexo Supply Chain with two specific examples including the University of Vermont’s efforts to increase local produce volumes and the Hotchkiss School’s efforts with sourcing local meats.
2/9/12 Webinar: Rhode Island GAP Program
Lori Pivarnik and Karen Menezes, coordinators of the Rhode Island GAP program, along with Dorothy Brayley with Kids First/Real Food First, discussed the RI GAP program on this webinar. The presentations included details regarding how the RI GAP program was developed, what some of the critical strategies were for making the program work for limited resource producers, and some examples of the difference between the RI GAP program approach versus the USDA GAP program approach. They also discussed what type of food safety practices have been challenging for RI farmers to implement on their farms and methods the RI GAP program staff have devised for helping farmers with these challenges. They detailed the relationship between the RI GAP program and RI farm to school programs.
8/29/12 Working with Immigrant Farmers Conference Call
- Call Notes (MS Word)
2/16/12 Learning Community Call: Digging Deeper into the Rhode Island GAP Program
Join the discussion group to learn about upcoming webinars and conference calls.
Case Studies on Food Safety and Liability Insurance
Food Safety and Liability Insurance: Emerging Issues for Farmers and Institutions
Kristen Markley, Marion Kalb, and Loren Gustafson, funded through USDA Risk Management Agency: Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership. December 2010, 34 pages.
This report is a compilation of a year-long project to study food safety and liability insurance issues and offer recommendations that emphasize proactive and cooperative attention. If you are a cooperative extension educator, agricultural professional, non-profit staff member, institutional food service provider, or producer involved in the institutional produce market, this report will help you better understand the history of these issues, the challenges for small or limited resource producers, and options for addressing these challenges.
Food Safety & Liability Insurance for Small-Scale and Limited Resource Farmers
Community Food Security Coalition, October 2010, funded through USDA Risk Management Agency: Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership
If you are a producer selling produce to institutional markets like schools, universities, corporations, hospitals, and prisons, your buyers may have special concerns about food safety. They may want you to prove that you handle food in a safe manner. They may require you to buy special insurance to protect them and their cutomers. This brochure explains these issues. Available in English and Spanish.
Como Proteger Su Negocio Agricola y Producir Alimentos Seguros en Su Granja
Community Food Security Coalition, October 2010. Translated by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).
This Spanish-language audio recording provides the information in the above brochure in greater detail. It provides some background information on the history and current landscape for the field of food safety as it affects small and limited resource farmers. It also outlines the food safety and liability insurance requirements of institutions, such as schools, colleges, hospitals, and prisons and some options for addressing these requirements.
Right-click on the link to save it to your computer:
Haz clic derecho aqui para guardar el archivo mp3 a su computadora:
Como Proteger Su Negocio Agricola y Producir Alimentos Seguros en Su Granja [mp3, 44 MB]
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (NESFP) Resources
- Quick Guide to Good Agricultural Practices
- Quick Guide to Food Safety Modernization Act
- NESFP DRAFT Curriculum GAP Guide
- NESFP Plain Language Guide to GAPs
- NESFP Quick Guide to Farm Insurance
Other Relevant Resources
FOOD SAFETY AND GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES (GAPs)
2010 Rhode Island GAP Program Guidelines (Rhode Island Cooperative Extension, February 2010)
This resource provides straightforward GAP guidelines for all stages of vegetable production, including manure and water management, in the fields, and post-harvest handling and transportation.
Checklist BMPs for Vegetable Production (Wesley Kline, David Nyachuba, and A. Richard Bonanno, UMass Extension)
This resource provides a checklist of Best Management Practices for all stages of vegetable production, including Field and Greenhouse Management, Manure Application, Irrigation Water, Worker Health and Hygiene, Harvest, “Pick Your Own” Operations, Packing House Facilities, Storage and Transportation, and Record Keeping.
Farm Food Safety: Keep Fresh Produce Safe Using Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) (Luke LaBorde, Penn State University Cooperative Extension)
This is a helpful 3-fold GAP awareness brochure from the Penn State GAP program.
Food Safety at Farmers Markets and Agritourism Venues: A Primer for California Operators (Desmond Jolly and Chris Lewis, UC Small Farm Center, 2005)
This publication provides a basic guide to understanding food safety issues relevant to California certified farmers markets and agritourism operations. It is designed for farmers, ranchers, and certified farmers market managers but can also be useful as a resource for educating employees about food safety concerns and regulations and as a reference for other agricultural professionals.
Food Safety Begins on the Farm: A Grower’s Guide. Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Anusuya Rangarajan, Elizabeth A. Bihn, Robert B. Gravani, Donna L. Scott, and Marvin P. Pritts, Cornell University)
This guide provides background on food borne illness, discusses potential sources of contamination on a farm, and describes practical solutions for how to minimize on-farm risks during each stage of production. It is a must-have for any farmer interested in addressing food safety issues.
Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors Series: General Food Safety Practices, Providing Samples, Selling Fresh Produce (Londa Nwadike, UVM Extension Fact Sheet, September 2011)
This fact sheet offers guidance on keeping fresh produce and food samples safe while selling at farmers markets.
Good Agricultural Practices GAP Certification: Is it Worth it? (Roderick M. Rejesus, NC State University Cooperative Extension, AG 709)
Third-party GAP certification is voluntary—it is not yet mandated by law. Growers must measure the economic cost against the benefits before deciding whether to pursue certification. This article, developed by N.C. State, outlines many of the benefits and costs growers should consider.
Good Agricultural Practices: A Self Audit for Growers and Handlers (Trevor Suslow, University of California)
This self-audit allows farmers to verify how successfully they have adopted Good Agricultural Practices before undergoing the expense of paying for a third-party auditor to visit the farm.
Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Program User’s Guide (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Fresh Products Branch, April 2011)
The User’s Guide is intended to provide guidance to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry on the requirements of the USDA Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Program (GAP & GHP) and preparing for a successful audit. This Guide does not address every specific question on the USDA GAP & GHP audit checklist, but covers all the major topic areas of the audit.
Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, October 1998)
This guidance document from the FDA offers nonbinding recommendations to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry for ways to reduce food safety hazards. This document served as the foundation for the requirements of the USDA Good Agricultural Practices audit certification program.
Improving the Safety and Quality of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: A Training Manual for Trainers. Section II: Good Agricultural Practices (University of Maryland, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 2010)
This training manual provides information on Good Agricultural Practices for individuals who intend to teach others about the program, including technical assistance providers and farm managers who are responsible for field crews. The manual informs readers about the USDA GAP auditing program, and it describes potential on-farm hazards and best management practices. It is divided into five modules: Site Selection and Soil, Agricultural Water, Fertilizers: Inorganic and Organic, Animal Exclusion and Pest Control, and Worker Health and Hygiene.
Postharvest Chlorination: Basic Properties and Key Points for Effective Disinfection (Trevor Suslow, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 8003)
This publication explains a number of methods of chlorinating and disinfecting water, which can then be used in postharvest handling of produce.
USDA Good Agricultural and Good Handling Practices: An Audit Verification Program for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industry (Washington State Department of Agriculture, AGR PUB 840-181 (R/7/10))
This publication offers an overview of the USDA GAP audit program, with an introduction to the auditing process and clear, concise explanations of each scope of the audit.
USDA Good Agricultural Practices Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Checklist (USDA, AMS, FVP, Fresh Products Branch, June 2011)
This document is the actual checklist that GAP auditors use to determine whether an agricultural operation can become GAP certified. It breaks the audit down into several scopes and assigns point values to each question on the checklist.
Water Disinfection: A Practical Approach to Calculating Dose Values for Preharvest and Postharvest Applications (Trevor V. Suslow, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 7256)
This publication helps growers calculate the appropriate dose values of chlorine and bleach that should be applied to pre-harvest and post-harvest water to kill contaminants that could cause food safety concerns.
FOOD SAFETY PLANS AND RISK MANAGEMENT
(or go to www.attra.ncat.org to order a CD for PCs (no Macs) or to view another webinar on AGR-Lite)
The Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-lite) option is a unique whole farm revenue federally subsidized insurance product. A tool called the AGR-Lite Wizard that the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) developed with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) can assist farmers in evaluating whether AGR-Lite insurance will assist them with crop and livestock loss protection.
The FamilyFarmed.org On-Farm Food Safety Project is a national program that offers farmers, food safety professionals and agricultural extension specialists technical assistance to develop risk- based food safety programs. The program developed an educational website and a free, on-line tool, based on a comprehensive GAP control points framework, which generates customized on-farm food safety plans based on user input. The tool is designed for use by small- to mid-scale growers to document their food safety program and to provide training to their employees.
GlobalGAP recognizes the importance of collaboration among small farmers, and the opportunity afforded by such collaboration to raise the standards of operations clear to the individual farm level. Major emphasis has been placed on developing a “group certification approach”, which is called “Option 2”.?? GlobalGAP believes that “Option 2” has successfully brought small holders access to major markets within their own countries and worldwide while maintaining and even improving quality management, food safety at the individual farm level, and buyer confidence in certified farms and their products.
Good Agricultural Practices Food Safety Plan (Penn State University Department of Food Science, Version 3.25.2010)
This template allows farmers to fill out the forms, complete the checklists, and write down their policies to prepare for a GAP audit. It is possible to type in their information or print it out and write by hand.
Insurance Coverage Options for Fresh Produce Growers (Roderick M. Rejesus and Annette Dunlap, NC State University Cooperative Extension, AG 710)
Fresh produce growers today face several risks associated with food-borne illness outbreaks. With the variety of insurance coverage or policies available, this document, developed by N.C. State, will help fresh produce growers understand what policies best cover their farms.
New England Farm Plan: General Questions, Farm Review, Field Harvesting, and Packing (developed by UMass Extension)
This sample plan provides an example of a thorough, GAP certifiable food safety plan for a New England farm.
Policies and Procedures Applicable Toward Meeting USDA GAP Standards (Penn State University Department of Food Science, July 2010)
This guide sheet provides examples of how farmers might document their farm food safety policies and procedures. They are only suggestions and may not be complete, but they are a great reference to follow when beginning to develop a personal food safety plan.
The Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative is an all-industry effort that includes growers, shippers, produce buyers, government agencies, audit organizations and other stakeholders. The goal of the Initiative is “one audit by any credible third party, acceptable to all buyers”. To achieve this goal, the Initiative has developed food safety Good Agricultural Practices standards and audit checklists for pre- and post-harvest operations, applicable to all fresh produce commodities, all sizes of on-farm operations and all regions in the U.S., and has made them available for use by any operation or audit organization at no cost.
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is a collaborative project between Cornell University, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration. The overarching objective of this project is to provide the produce industry and associated groups with training and educational opportunities related to current best practices and guidance, and future regulatory requirements by establishing the Produce Safety Alliance. Outreach efforts will focus on fresh produce growers, packers, and grower cooperatives with special emphasis on small and very small-scale farms and packinghouses.
On this website, there is information on all of the crops that are insured, criteria for a particular crop or what crops are covered in a particular county, and crop insurance policy plans that are offered. Adjusted Gross Revenue and AGR-Lite policy information is found on this site. The ‘Farm Risk Plans’ is an area of the website that is specifically designed for farmers to assess their risk. They can find information on doing a SWOT analysis, which includes a user-friendly guide for a farmer to assess their risk. RMA uses this with limited resource producers. There is a workbook at the end.
THE FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT
Background on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) (Food and Drug Administration, July 12, 2011)
This backgrounder explains in plain language how the Food Safety Modernization Act has impacted the FDA’s practices around prevention, inspection and compliance, response, imports, and partnership with other government agencies.
Food Safety Frequently Asked Question (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, June 13, 2011)
This factsheet explains what the Food Safety Modernization Act includes and how it impacts farms across the U.S., the roles of the USDA and FDA in regulating food safety, and how the Food Safety Modernization Act affects small and mid-size farmers.