March 13, 2016
If you’re a food crop producer, you’re justifiably concerned over the costs of adding Good Agricultural Practices mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act. Food retailers, wholesalers and distributors are beginning to require GAPs that meet or even exceed FSMA standards.
A March 24 webinar hosted by Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture will address those concerns plus offer ways to hold down compliance costs.
PRODUCTION COSTS RISING: Learn how you might reduce costs of marketing food crops with the growing market channel emphasis on food safety.
You don’t have to be from Pennsylvania or a PASa member to participate in the ‘Understanding and Mitigating the Costs Associated with GAP/FSMA’ session. It’ll run from Noon to 1:30 p.m. – at no cost. Registration is required though, at pasafarming.org/events.
What’s on the program
This webinar aims to help farmers anticipating adding GAP and/or FSMA compliance practices to their farm model. Jeff Stoltzfus, Penn State Extension, will be joined by a farm owner who has been through the certification process. They’ll share information and personal experience about the costs associated with various aspects of getting ready to pass GAP audits along with ongoing costs.
Retailers and government agencies will require more of a focus by farmers on food safety, notes Stoltzfus. Farms with diversified enterprises may struggle to afford changes needed to meet those requirements – and necessary to stay competitive.
"The costs of regulations are often more burdensome on small farmers who must spread the costs of management and compliance over fewer units or gross sales,” he adds. “Understanding the potential costs ahead of time can affect not only if, but how GAP certification can be obtained.”
Other guest panelists will explore possible ways of mitigating those costs. Panelists include:
* Nikki Shingle of Everence, a member-owned financial services organization, will discuss potential tax breaks available for charitable donations of produce;
* Jay Eury, The Gleaning Project of South Central Pennsylvania, will share how other organizations can help simplify making those donations; and
* Winifred McGee, Penn State Extension, will take a look at ways of turning seconds into profit making value-added products.
A question & answer period will be included to allow you to ask questions. The webinar is limited to 100 participants. The session will be recorded, so you can tap into it afterwards.
This webinar is part of a series of programs aimed at providing training for and promotion of specialty crop growers and is supported by funds via a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. PASA is one of the largest and most active sustainable ag organizations in the United States.
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