Food safety continues to be a hot topic for consumers and producers alike. The passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and recent release of the proposed FSMA rules by the FDA raise important questions to CCOF members. While FSMA provides a structure for a new system of food safety verification, the entrance of the federal government into the fray has created additional questions about how the program will be implemented.
Many farmers and processors are already being asked to be certified to one of the existing third party food safety standards by their retail buyers such as Costco or Walmart. We anticipate that the implementation of the FSMA rules will mean more companies will be pursuing food safety assessment and/or certification. Even if law does not require it, assessment and/or certification may be required in order for farmers and processors to be able to sell their product!
CCOF wants to know more about your interests and needs regarding food safety. We’re asking CCOF clients to help us assess the needs of the community by completing a brief survey before May 6. Please take a minute or two to complete this survey. By doing so, you will be entered to win a prize of discounts on your CCOF certification fees!
We at CCOF have heard loud and clear from our producer members that they want to comply with the requirements of FSMA but are concerned about the cost, time, and paperwork burden of dealing with another certification program. Our board of directors has asked us to explore the options of offering a food safety certification program in conjunction with our organic certification.
We recognize that CCOF members are deeply committed to producing and selling safe, quality food even though the operational and financial impacts of food safety certification may be significant. We believe that CCOF could offer a food safety certification program with high integrity for organic producers that not only respects and encourages organic systems, but also streamlines the paperwork and inspection process. Our mission is to certify, educate, advocate, and promote organic. Is a CCOF food safety certification program for organic producers in line with this mission? Are you being asked to obtain food safety certification? How else can we help you deal with the new FSMA requirements? Take our survey by May 6 and let us know!