Food and worker safety has emerged in recent times as one of the primary concerns for both consumers and businesses. The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center will fund three projects to engage businesses on these topics:
- Production Education for Cheesemakers
- Farmworker Safety
- Food Safety Certification
Production Education for Cheesemakers
Learning about novel approaches, food safety requirements, and finished product attributes give cheesemakers a competitive advantage as they find ways to make their products standout in a crowded marketplace, however opportunity for such education is not readily available. University of Vermont Extension was selected to develop two free, virtual webinar series which will focus on 1) value-added food safety requirements as a part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and 2) human health considerations for processors. The target audience includes current cheese makers, dairy farmers seeking to diversify their operations, and existing processors interested in additional education within the northeast region.
Farm safety program development for farmworkers, including migrant farmworkers, is essential for accurate and clear communication regarding farm operations, improving quality of life for farm workers, and reducing the likelihood of accidents. This is a collaborative project between the NE-DBIC, University of Vermont, Cornell University, and Agri-Mark in response to a clear need articulated by larger dairy operations.
Food Safety Certification
Food safety in value-added production is critical to ensure consistent, safe, and high-quality products while also being required for entry into certain market channels. Processors have a variety of needs when it comes to developing and implementing a plan based on their facility, kinds of products made, and markets served. At least 25 processors from across the northeast region will be eligible for grant funding to support food safety improvements including technical assistance, audits, plan writing, and infrastructure upgrades.