National Farmers Union - Local Food Safety Collaborative Toolkit and Needs Assessment
HELLO BEGINNING FARMERS! This is a “get-acquainted” email (via the Arizona Department of Agriculture) introducing the National Farmers Union and its collaboration with the FDA on a project targeting small to mid-size producers: Local Food Safety Collaborative – “training, education and outreach to local producers and processors to enhance fundamental knowledge of food safety.” If you are interested, please review the outreach toolkit, complete the needs assessment and return it Program Coordinator Chelsea Matzen. Her contact info is at the end of her email.
My name is Chelsea Matzen and I am contacting you to introduce National Farmers Union (NFU) and a project we are working on with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) known as the Local Food Safety Collaborative. If you have not worked with or heard of NFU previously, it is an organization that represents over 200,000 farmers and ranchers across the nation. NFU is a grassroots organization with formally organized divisions in 33 states. We work to promote the economic, social well-being, and quality of life of family farmers, ranchers, fisherman, and consumers and their communities through education, cooperation, and legislation. The Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC), a project of the NFU Foundation, works to provide training, education, and outreach to local producers and processors to enhance the fundamental knowledge of food safety, and to help these local producers and processors comply with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations. The project is funded through the FDA similar to the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP).
LFSC is targeting small to mid-size producers across the country to provide outreach and education on both the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Foods Rules. This includes offering subsidized Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings and offering shorter workshops introducing FSMA or focusing on a specific section of the rule. The long term goal of the project is to develop tailored educational materials for these local producers. In order to accomplish this work our network of partners presently include:
- Cornell University
- National Young Farmers Coalition
- Maryland Department of Agriculture
- Washington State Department of Agriculture
- Deep South Food Alliance
- Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services
- Florida Organic Growers
- Community Alliance with Family Farmers
- Lake County Community Development Corporation
- And multiple Farmers Union state divisions across the country
I wanted to take the time to reach out to you as the main point of contact for FSMA in Arizona so that as LFSC works in Arizona, we can coordinate where possible. As we work to inform growers on FSMA we also want to provide resources for their questions on what regulation and inspection may look like. If there is information we can include when doing outreach or if you would like to speak at any workshops or trainings I would be happy to discuss. In addition, LFSC is currently conducting a needs assessment survey of local producers in order to inform the creation or modification of educational materials. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in any distribution of this survey as it is the only national one being conducted. If you are interested in assisting with outreach and distribution I have attached an outreach toolkit to this email.
If you have questions or would like to discuss the above I would be happy to schedule a phone call. I can be reached at [email protected].
FSMA Project Coordinator
20 F St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20001