Citrus, Fruit & Vegetable Standardization
COVID 19 Coronavirus: A Dozen Things to Know About Fresh Produce
As the US steps up efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we wanted to share some important facts about the practices in place on farms in the area of human hygiene.
- Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor
- COVID-19 Resources from NC Extension
- Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- "There is no evidence that fresh produce or an other food can transmit the virus." - United States Departmnet of Agriculture
- Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms - Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development
- Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Growers Related to Coronavirus - The University of Vermont - COVID-19
- Learn more about Coronavirus and fresh produce from the United Fresh Association: United Fresh - Coronavirus
- One of the best things people can do to prevent colds and flu of any kind is to eat plenty of immune-building fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens like lettuce, spinach and kale: Nutrition Information
- Over 90% of the leafy greens consumed in the U.S. are produced under the LGMA food safety program which includes stringent requirements regarding the health and hygiene of employees working on farms and in fields: LGMA Food Safety Program
- Bathroom and handwashing facilities are required to be present anytime harvest crews are working in leafy greens fields.
- People who are sick are not allowed to come into contact with produce.
- No one is allowed to consume food, chew tobacco or spit near produce fields.
- Harvest equipment and tools must be sanitized regularly.
- LGMA member companies who grow leafy greens are required to train workers on the required practices, including how to properly wash their hands. The LGMA provides a hand-washing training app that is free to download. Use your smartphone for access: LGMA Resources
- Arizona Department of Health Services - Updates for the Coronavirus in Arizona
Citrus, Fruit, and Vegetable Division
The Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division as set forth in A.R.S. § 3-441 and A.R.S. § 3-481 provides produce licensing, collection of statistical data and fresh produce administrative assistance. Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division formerly monitored and enforced quality standards. Under the recommendation of the Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division Advisory Council, the Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division has moved toward a food safety program instead of a produce quality program. The Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council meets quarterly and advises the Associate Director on all issues pertaining to Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division .
Statistical data is collected from Arizona Shippers, who are the first handlers of produce. Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division assists the Arizona Citrus Research Council (ACRC) and the Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Research Council (AILRC) in the collection of assessments and statistical data. ACRC and AILRC support the development of citrus and iceberg lettuce research programs and projects within the Arizona produce industry.
This Division is entirely industry funded through license fees and carton assessments and uses no general fund monies. We work closely with a governor appointed industry advisory council, which meets quarterly and advises the Associate Director on all issues pertaining to Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division .
For more information please contact Robert Nick at (602) 542-0439.
The Legislature established the Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council to support and oversee the industry-funded Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division (CFV) which provides quality inspection and food safety auditing for the Arizona fresh produce industry. In 2015, Arizona produced and shipped 3.4 billion pounds, equaling approximately 13.6 trillion servings of fresh fruits and vegetables nationwide. The Council supports and provides direction to the CFV by reviewing statutes and rules, and recommending changes relating to inspection procedures and training. During 2014, over 45 CFV rules were repealed at the request of the CFV Advisory Council because the rules were considered outdated as the fresh produce industry moves towards essential food safety procedures.
The Council currently oversees the implementation and training for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule that became effective November 2015. This law effect all Arizona fresh produce growers. The Council provides an integral link between the industry and the CFV , that ensures the divison operates in an efficient and effective manner.
Council is comprised of nine membersappointed by the Governor:
Two fruit/vegetable producers from Yuma or La Paz County
One fruit/vegetable producers from Maricopa, Pinal or Pima County
One at large fruit/vegetable producer
One at large citrus producer
One iceberg lettuce producer from Yuma County
One apple, grape or tree fruit producer
One Small Farm at large
One Holder, from Santa Cruz County
In September 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) a five year grant/cooperative agreement to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule(link is external).
Under the Cooperative Agreement, Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) will provide statewide training and outreach for the Produce Safety Rule. The AZDA facilitates the required Produce Safety Alliance – Produce Safety Rule Grower Training(link is external) (Click here to register(link is external)). Training staff will also provide one-on-one consultations during a scheduled On-Farm Readiness Review to help farms understand and better comply with the Produce Safety Rule.
The Cooperative Agreement also covers regulatory oversight and compliance, for which the Arizona Department of Agriculture has gained legislative authority after Arizona farmers opted for AZDA inspectors.
Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division assisted in the implementation and in the current administration of the State of Arizona’s first marketing agreement. Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (Arizona LGMA) provides food safety audits to the Arizona produce industry and is managed by the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee. The Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee is made up of five signatory members, elected by all of the Arizona LGMA signatories. Arizona is the second largest leafy green producer in the United States. Arizona LGMA members represent 97% of leafy green products grown in Arizona. For more information please visit www.arizonaleafygreens.org or contact Teressa Lopez at (602) 542-0945.
Arizona Federal State Inspection Service- Fresh Produce Grade Inspection
The Arizona Federal-State Inspection Service, Fresh Produce Grade Inspection operates under a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Agriculture and is managed by Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division . The Cooperative Agreement Objective is to make the inspection service for fresh fruits, vegetables and other products, more widely available to growers, shippers, processors and receivers than would be possible without the cooperation of the State Agency. Arizona Federal-State Inspection Service has inspection offices in Phoenix, Nogales and Yuma. These offices deliver USDA inspections to Arizona’s produce industry, conducting Market Inspections, Shipping Point Inspections, Auditing Services, Process Product Inspections, and relief work as needed to USDA. Revenues include inspection fees.
If you need a fresh produce grade inspection, please contact:
Nogales (520 )281-0783, ext. 3
Phoenix (602) 542-0880
Yuma (928) 317-1345
Through a federal grant, the Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division oversees the Organic Certification Cost Share (OCCS) reimbursement program. The OCCS provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers who are obtaining organic certification for the first time or renewing their previous certification. Cost share assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis, as long as funds are available. Sign-up begins on September 16, 2019 and the application deadline is November 22, 2019. For more information please contact Robert Nick at (602) 542-0439.
Who We Are
Associate Director: Ed Foster