National Farmers Union to Continue Work on Food Safety
As more consumers turn to local farmers and food businesses, National Farmers Union (NFU) is redoubling its efforts to give farmers the tools and information they need to protect consumers from food-borne illnesses and comply with food safety regulations.
In May, National Farmers Union Foundation (NFUF) secured $1 million in funding from FDA to continue its partnership with the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC). This nationwide food safety network will continue to provide resources and specialized training through twelve farm and agriculture organizations, including Farmers Union divisions in Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New England. Employing their local and regional expertise, these organizations address the food safety needs of small-scale, diversified, sustainable, organic, and identity-preserved growers and processors. Building food safety knowledge among these groups will help more producers meet requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements, which will facilitate their participation in a wider variety of markets.
Following the Needs Assessment Survey and Listening Session conducted during the FSMA compliance award’s previous installment, LFSC aims to elicit more collaborative and engaged support from a twenty-one member food safety Steering Committee. Committee members, who represent government agencies, national and regional farm organizations, and academia, will provide valuable feedback for partners, their projects, and beyond.
Within the upcoming project year, LFSC will host workshops and farm tours, conduct outreach, attend Produce Safety Alliance trainings, provide one-on-one food safety consultations, and deliver water quality testing, among other activities. While the Covid-19 pandemic has limited in-person education, partners are dedicated to connecting local growers with the resources they need, and many are adapting their material into webinars or other creative formats to engage their local agricultural communities from a distance. From podcasts to Facebook-live farm walks and specialized Zoom conferences, we are looking forward to distributing a variety food safety resources from diverse regions and populations.
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.