The mission of the Vermont Produce Program's is to help grow Vermont’s produce industry 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.
Preparing for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule
All Vermont farms that grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce are encouraged to sign up for the Vermont Produce Portal to access resources including regular policy and news updates on produce safety requirements, the opportunity to request an On-Farm Readiness Review—a voluntary, non-regulatory assessment of a farm’s produce safety readiness prior to inspection—and eligibility to apply for Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants to help pay for on-farm improvements.Access the Produce Portal here
►Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requires that "at least one supervisor or responsible party" from every farm covered under the rule "complete food safety training recognized as adequate by the FDA (21 C.F.R. §112.22(c)). The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course is currently the only training that satisfies this requirement. To view and register for upcoming trainings, please visit the Produce Safety Alliance website. The next PSA Grower Training course taking place in Vermont will be held on April 11, 2018 in St. Johnsbury, VT. To view the full details please click here.
►On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR)
An On-Farm Readiness Review is a voluntary, non-regulatory opportunity for a grower to have a one-on-one conversation ad farm walk-through with a member from UVM Extension and the Produce Program team at VAAFM, to identify areas for improvement in on-farm produce safety prior to inspection under the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest processes will be evaluated to identify potential areas for follow up technical assistance. We will begin conducting On-Farm Readiness Reviews summer of 2018. It is strongly recommended that growers attend a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course before requesting an OFRR
; this will provide you with essential background information relating to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and recommended produce safety practices on the farm which will allow you to get the most out of the OFRR. Growers interested in scheduling an OFRR should check the box when enrolling in the Produce Portal.
Produce Safety Headlines
Visit this link for the latest produce safety news from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
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 foodborne illness to preventing it.
Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants support Vermont produce growers in implementing on-farm improvements to help prevent or reduce produce safety risks. Click here to see whether the current grant round is accepting applications.
Funding for development of this program was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.
If you are a producer or operator with questions or concerns about FSMA or produce safety, we want to hear from you! Contact Dominique Giroux at Dominique.Giroux@vermont.gov or (802) 522-3132 to share your story.