On Monday, September 23 at 6 p.m., the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and Countryside Conservancy will offer a free webinar designed for specialty crop farmers and processors titled, “Food Safety Regulations: Impacts on Small Growers and Processors.”
In 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad new powers to prevent and respond to food safety problems and develop new on-farm regulations for producers and certain facilities. As a result, the FDA released a set of food safety rules for specialty crop growers and food processors in January. To read more about the proposed rules, click here or here.
Once fully implemented, these rules will apply to about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, impacting growers, processors, and food businesses across Ohio and the nation. The FDA predicts that the initial cost for compliance could be higher than $12,000 for small farms and $30,000 for large farms.
During this webinar, Ariane Lotti, Assistant Policy Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, will present an overview of the proposed regulations, who is affected, and how the rules could impact small farmers. Lotti previously served as the Policy Director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation. She is a published author, and has worked on and conducted research on organic and conventional farms in the U.S. and Europe. She is a member of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Advisory Committee and holds degrees from Yale University.
Comments on the proposed food safety rules are due to the FDA by November 15. A second webinar scheduled for Monday, October 28 at 6 p.m., led by OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator MacKenzie Bailey, will provide instruction on how to submit comments to the FDA.