Produce Program

Mission

The mission of the Vermont Produce Program 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. 

What We Do

The Vermont Produce Program can help you to—

  • Understand your farm’s requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule
  • Access resources to grow produce safety on your farm—which can also lead to increased efficiency, produce quality, and market access
  • Prepare your farm for a FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection
►Enroll in the Vermont Produce Portal
We encourage all Vermont farms that grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce to enroll in the Vermont Produce Portal. After enrolling, Produce Program staff can help you determine whether your farm is covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and understand your farm's requirements. You will also be able to access the following resources:
  • Periodic policy and news updates on produce safety requirments
  • The opportunity to request an On-Farm Readiness Review (see below)
  • Early registration for Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings in Vermont (see below)
  • Eligibility for Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants to help pay for on-farm improvements
 
►Attend a 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.
 
Choose from two PSA Grower Training Courses in VT this fall!
  1. October 24 - 25, 2018 in Rutland, VT. View details.  Registration Link.
  2. November 8, 2018 in White River Junction, VT. View details. Registration Link. 
►Request an 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 and farm walk-through with staff from UVM Extension and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and identify areas for improvement in on-farm produce safety prior to inspection under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The team will evaluate pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest processes and identify potential areas for follow-up technical assistance. We will begin conducting On-Farm Readiness Reviews in Spring 2018. 
 
We strongly recommended completing the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course before completing an OFRR. The PSA Grower Training provides essential background information about the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and recommended produce safety practices; this will help you to get the most out of an OFRR. 
 
Growers interested in scheduling an OFRR should check the box next to OFRR when enrolling or updating their information in the Produce Portal.  Download: What to Expect During an On-Farm Readiness Review
 

Produce Safety Headlines

Visit this link for the latest produce safety news from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

Food Safety Modernization Act

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

Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants support Vermont produce growers in implementing on-farm improvements to help prevent or reduce produce safety risks. The next request for propsals (RFP) will be released in fall 2018. 

Produce Safety Resources

 

Contact

If you are a producer or operator with questions or concerns about FSMA or produce safety, we want to hear from you! Email AGR.FSMA@vermont.gov or call (802) 828-2433.

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.