Apr 2016

Guide to Food Safety Certification for Farming Operations

Posted by / in Food Safety Certification /

Food Safety Then and Now

Let’s face it, the U.S. food safety market is a very confusing place right now. Due to the demand of their buyers, farmers were previously obtaining food safety certification on site. Retailers, packinghouses and distributors began to ask farmers for some sort of G.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practices) certification to ensure consumer safety. There are multiple food safety standards and many auditing agencies to choose from in the United States, leaving farmers feeling confused and unsure how to proceed. Which auditing agency do I work with? How do I prepare for an audit? Which food safety standard do I choose?

There is now an added element to the food safety world- FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act). Farmers are now faced with FSMA mandated regulations with deadlines closely approaching. The leading food safety standards in the U.S. are working hard to ensure that their standards are compliant to FSMA. In the meantime, though, we can offer some guidance.

Steps to Tackling Food Safety Certification

If you’re a farmer looking to obtain food safety certification due to buyer demand, you should know whether or not your buyer is requesting a GFSI level standard. The next step, after you’ve determined which standard is right for you, is to pick an agency to perform your audit.

Your food safety agency will walk you through what’s needed to prepare for your audit. It’s your responsibility to prepare your food safety plan on site per your chosen standard’s guidelines. When you are ready for your audit, an auditor will visit your site to conduct your food safety audit.


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Apr 2016

Going Organic – Top Three Things Food Handlers need to consider

Posted by / in Food Safety Certification, Organic Combo Audits /


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 food quality. Here are the top three things to consider before making the switch.


Is Your Operation and Products Eligible for Organic Certification?Organic Certification | Food Safety Certifiers

The first step in making the switch to organic is ensuring that your facility is organic compliant. The USDA’s NOP (National Organic Program) wrote and defined the organic standard. We recommend checking out the USDA’s Guide for Organic Processors as a great way to implement organic practices on site.

In addition, food handlers need to make sure their single/multi-ingredient products are organic compliant. Single ingredient handlers will need to make sure they have a USDA organic certificate for products being purchased. Multi-ingredient handlers will need to make sure at least 95% of their product consists of certified organic ingredients by weight. The remaining 5% of ingredient(s) can be non-organic, however they need to comply with the National List.


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Apr 2016

Ways Farmers Are Coping With The Drought

Posted by / in Farming /

Because crops need water to survive, a drought can potentially have a devastating effect on them. Below is a list of ways that farmers have been able to adapt to the drought:
They Cover The Crops

Water conservation is one of the keys to surviving a drought. One of the ways that farmers conserve water is by covering their crops. This helps reduce weed growth and increase soil fertility, which makes it easy for water to reach the soil. Studies have shown that covering the crops is effective for protecting them during drought season. Covering the crops can make the fields 11 to 14 percent more productive.

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