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CCOF Completes NIFA Food Safety Project

by Jessy Beckett Parr |

CCOF received a NIFA Food Safety Outreach grant in 2017 to provide Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) required Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) compliant trainings and technical assistance for small scale, organic, and Spanish speaking farmers in California. In collaboration with partner organizations Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) and the California Center for Cooperative Development, CCOF conducted eight trainings and two webinars between January 2018 and January 2019.

Project Results

  • 192 attendees received FSMA PSA training throughout California from 2017-2019.
  • 51 producers increased their understanding of food safety procedures and how to meet and implement food safety practices in compliance with FSMA through one-on-one food safety technical assistance.
  • 126 attendees, including 72 farmers, attended two webinars. One webinar focused on basic FSMA requirements and exemptions, while the other focused on FSMA agricultural production water requirements.
  • 68 ALBA trainees and farm incubator growers attended trainings to better their understanding of food safety and FSMA requirements.

Trainings Increase Confidence of Growers

A post-workshop survey asked about how confident participants felt about implementing the materials from the different modules of the PSA training curriculum. Overall, 87.6 percent of the responses either strongly agreed or agreed that that modules increased their confidence to implement the material. Respondents (111) were most confident that they could implement post-harvest water practices (91 percent strongly agree or agree); implement production water practices (90.1 percent); and implement worker health, hygiene, and training practices (90.1 percent). Farmers or farm operators (57) were most confident they could implement practices regarding soil amendments (94.7 percent strongly agree or agree), implement worker health practices (91.2 percent), and implement postharvest water practices (91.2 percent). Farm owners and operators were least confident they could develop a traceability system (86.0 percent) and develop a food safety plan (89.5 percent). 

Overall, of the 111 respondents, 91.9 percent said they were committed to implementing produce safety practices on their farm. Those that said they were farm owners or operators (57) reported a slightly higher rate of commitment (94.7 percent). 

CCOF is committed to continuing to educate the growing community about food safety. 

Missed these trainings? Consider attending our free June 18, 2019, webinar Organic and Food Safety Recordkeeping for Produce Growers.