What to Look for in a Food Safety Certification Company
If you are a rancher, farmer or packinghouse manager in California seeking food safety certification, it’s essential to find an auditing agency that fits your needs. As a first time pursuit into the food safety auditing world, it’s hard to fully understand what you should be aware of. Here are some recommended qualities to look for in a food safety certification company:
Customer Service/Ease of certification
Customer service should be a top priority. There are many auditing agencies to choose from who perform similar/same audits, but how they provide their service is what makes them all different. Do they provide you with the necessary tools and resources needed to properly implement your food safety plan on site? Your auditing agency should be able to provide you with checklists and helpful guides on how to get started, which is essential when preparing for your first audit- you shouldn’t be left in the dark. Is the agency easy to get a hold of to any questions that you may have? It’s not uncommon to find yourself confused and frustrated when tackling food safety, make sure your agency can quickly answer any/all your questions to help you stay on track.
Going Organic – Top Three Things Farmers need to consider
Making the switch from conventional to organic is a multiyear process that can have some substantial payoffs in terms of worker health, customer demand and produce quality. Here are the top three things to consider before making the switch.
Is Your Land and Farming Practices Eligible for Organic Certification?
The first step in making the switch to organic is ensuring your land is eligible for organic certification. Famers need to guarantee no prohibited substances have been applied to the soil in a 32 month timeframe. If the land has been managed as organic for 32 months or if the land has been fallow, a farmer can apply for organic certification at any time.
The USDA’s NOP (National Organic Program) wrote and defined the crop organic standard. Farmers need to make sure their farming practices are compliant per these organic standards. We recommend checking out the USDA’s Guide for Organic Crop Producers as a great way to implement organic practices on site.