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 requirements
  • 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 Course

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 satisfies this requirement.

For more information about the PSA Grower Training Course, visit the PSA website.

PSA Grower Training Course (Rescheduled from October 24–25, 2018)

Hosted by University of Vermont Extension & Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

Training will be limited to 30 participants. Registration details wll be posted soon. 

When: March 19 – 20, 2019
Where: TBD, Vermont
Time Day 1: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM | Time Day 2: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Focus on Cleaning & Sanitizing

In addition to the standard PSA Grower Training curriculum, this training will include a hands-on activity and demonstration of best practices for cleaning and sanitizing tools and equipment, led by University of Vermont Extension Ag Engineers and Produce Safety Specialists. This is a great opportunity to learn how to optimize your cleaning and sanitizing routine! Course attendees should prepare by reflecting on their current cleaning and sanitizing procedures for tools and equipment. 

►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 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
 

►Appy for a Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant

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 proposals (RFP) will be released in December 2018.

Produce Safety Headlines

View 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.

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.