CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Emphasizes Care Taken by Farmers in Address to Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference
DENVER, COLO.--Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) President Robert Sakata, Brighton, Colo., yesterday outlined the food safety measures farmers take to ensure produce is kept safe from farm to market. His comments were part of his address to the annual Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference, held here May 24-25, at Johnson & Wales University.
“Food safety is our number one concern,” Sakata told conference attendees.
He also urged produce buyers to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables and to get to know the farmers who grow their produce.
“Retailers wishing to meet consumer demand for local produce should take advantage of the great products grown in Colorado, and they should get to know the farmers personally,” said Sakata. “Not only will buyers get a good story to pass on to customers, they will know exactly where their produce is coming from and the care taken to grow it.”
The conference brought together professionals from the food industry and the food safety community. National and local experts presented information on current food safety issues, as well as problems and developments in securing and protecting a safe food supply.
Sakata was impressed with conference keynote speaker Lauren Bush, a food safety advocate who talked about her experience surviving pathogenic E. coli contracted in 2006. She is a strong supporter of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
“Hearing Ms. Bush’s experience and what she suffered made me all the more determined to judiciously apply food safety precautions on my own operation at Sakata Family Farms,” said Sakata. “Promotion of food safety also is high priority for CFVGA.”
Also speaking at the conference was Martha Sullins, CSU Extension Larimer County, who also serves as co-chair of the CFVGA Food Safety Committee.
The CFVGA is comprised of more than 150 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $300 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 60,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production. For more on the CFVGA, visithttp://coloradoproduce.org