Produce Safety

Produce Safety at VAAFM

The Vermont Produce Program's mission is to help to grow Vermont’s produce industry—in the face of regulations and evolving market expectations—by aiding produce farms of all sizes and stages of development to meet food safety requirements, access markets, and promote public health as sustainable agricultural businesses. 

FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most comprehensive reform of our federal food safety laws in over 70 years. The intent of the law is to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. To learn more about FSMA, see our Food Safety Modernization Act page.

USDA GAP

VAAFM also conducts Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits for fresh fruit and vegetable producers. GAP is a voluntary certification program overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). For more information about GAP, visit our USDA GAP & GHP page.

VVBGA Community Accredidation for Produce Safety (CAPS)

Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) is a program of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA).  CAPS is a voluntary, practical approach to documenting the use of practices that reduce food safety risks on farms that grow fresh produce. CAPS is a food safety market access program that can be used in lieu of GAP for participating retailers.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings

The Produce Safety Rule requires at least one responsible party from every covered farm receive training under a FDA recognized curriculum. The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training course satisfies this requirement. The PSA is a collaboration between Cornell University, FDA and USDA to prepare produce growers to meet th regulatory requirements included in FSMA's Produce Safety Rule. The next PSA Grower Training in Vermont is scheduled for November 7-8, 2017 in Richmond. Sign up here (coming soon)!

Capital Infrastructure Grant Program - Coming Soon!

Check back in this fall for information on a new grant program to help subsidize on-farm infrastructure updates to improve food safety.

On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR) - Coming Soon!

On Farm Readiness Reviews are voluntary, non-regulatory, on-farm assessments between a grower and a Produce Safety Rule expert, to help the farm assess their readiness for the PSR prior to inspection. Check back here in the Fall for information on how to request an OFRR.

State Partners

Agency staff also work closely with the Center for Sustainable AgricultureUniversity of Vermont Extensionthe Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA), and the Vermont Department of Health, among other state partners, on produce safety issues and FSMA implementation.

Resources

Click here for a collection of additional produce safety related resources and technical assistance partners

Contact

If you are a producer or operator with questions or concerns about FSMA or produce safety, we want to hear from you! Contact Kristina Sweet at Kristina.Sweet@vermont.gov or (802) 522-7811 to share your story.