Thursday, February 20, 2014

CAFF Food Safety Program highlights

The CAFF Food Safety Program continues to assist small and mid-sized farmers in developing and implementing their food safety plans.

Highlights from the past few months include CAFF:

• Developing approximately 25 food safety plans. Binders with CAFF information, “Farming with Food Safety and Conservation in Mind ” (a brochure developed by Wild Farm Alliance and CAFF), a biodiversity flier and a food safety checklist were also distributed to each of the farms.

• Providing food safety workshops in Willits, Morgan Hill, Davis and Kingsburg.

• Conducting outreach at the EcoFarm Conference: moderated three workshops and spoke at two of these.  Subjects were Food Safety, Slow Money and Homemade Food Act CFO. The CAFF table in the Exhibitor Marketplace was well attended by CAFF staff and interested passers.

• Mailing out an informational letter to direct market farmers in CA, which was received well enough to generate approximately five phone calls per day in January. These calls have generated a 6-week booking / wait list for food safety planning assistance as well as an increase in new CAFF farmer memberships.

• Contacting  buyers (such as Veritable Vegetable, Earl’s Organics) and meeting dates scheduled to discuss buyer food safety interests and requirements from farmers.

In addition, CAFF has been paying close attention to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
CAFF’s work with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition paid off as FDA has agreed to re-write some of the aspects of their food safety rules that we most objected to. We met with the FDA officials in Washington DC in late January and they were very conciliatory. But in any case we will have another chance to comment this summer after they issue their second draft.

We held FSMA workshops with farmers in Chico, Watsonville, San Luis Obispo, Davis, and Santa Barbara, in collaboration with Wild Farm Alliance and CCOF, to discuss the proposed rules and encourage people to comment to FDA. FDA received over 20,000 comments on FSMA.

If you have questions about any of these activities, please contact Dave Runsten at

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