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After  three and half years of facilitating food safety outreach, education and training for produce farmers nationwide, the Local Food Safety Collaborative project will
come to a close on December 31, 2019.
The food safety team at National Farmers Union would like to thank our Steering Committee, subrecipients and partner
organizations for their incredible dedication and hard work. We also thank the U.S. FDA for their guidance and support throughout the project. This strong group of farmers, educators, regulators, and advocates have helped create a robust, effective network for delivering quality food safety outreach/training/education to small-scale producers across the country.
M ost of all, we're thankful to the farmers who have  allowed us the privilege of working with them. Thank you for trusting us!  

Although this newsletter is LFSC's last, please know that NFU will continue to work as a subrecipient on a select variety of Food Safety Outreach Projects. During this transition, current staff and partners are working together to determine needs and opportunities for further  food safety outreach, education, and training for farmers.
It is an honor to learn from and work alongside people that are equally passionate about helping farmers succeed. Cheers to progress and cheers to all of you!

With gratitude,
Chelsea Matzen, Billy Mitchell, Camilla Posthill
Needs Assessment Reports Released!
National Farmers Union's Local Food Safety Collaborative and Cornell University are excited to share the results of a multi-year, two tier Needs Assessment designed to better understand the needs of local produce farmers and processors on food safety implementation. Cornell University and National Farmers Union developed and distributed a survey to local, small-scale processors and produce farmers. Using the results of the survey, a series of listening sessions were organized to verify and further clarify this audience's needs. The listening sessions were held in person and provided an opportunity to report on local producers' food safety knowledge, challenges to implementation, and needs for additional resources. 
In general, survey participants expressed an interest in improving food safety practices on their farms or facilities but perceived many barriers that may prevent them from doing so. Lack of financial resources was the top concern followed by time and farm infrastructure. Other concerns include the need for skilled labor, technical assistance, appropriate supplies and equipment, and knowledge and information. More specifically, participants expressed the need for greater assistance with food safety audits, worker training, water testing, and recordkeeping.
When seeking assistance, however, many participants reported that they had trouble finding experienced, competent, and trusted trainers. This often negatively impacted their ability or motivation to implement food safety practices, underscoring the value of capable, trustworthy, and accessible trainers. In addition to high quality technical assistance, a number of participating growers also indicated that financial assistance would help them access educational resources and implement food safety practices.  
Proud Partners

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a farmer-driven, membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic food by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building systems that family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture.
CFSA has been proud to work with National Farmers Union's Local Food Safety Collaborative. CFSA's work with LFSC will help food hubs, farmer cooperatives, shared-use value-added processing operations, on-farm food manufacturers, multi-farm CSAs, produce packing houses, and other local food businesses understand the potential impact of FSMA's Preventive Controls Rule. "The desire to reach local food consumers is constantly spurring producers to adopt new approaches and alternative channels for marketing and production," says CFSA Executive Director Roland McReynolds. "In theory, FSMA is supposed to provide 'safe harbors' for these kinds of innovations, but the reality is that it is extraordinarily challenging for people to figure out when, whether, and how these safe harbors actually work."
CFSA is completing a series of fact sheets to provide plain-language guidance to help local food producers understand the potential impact of FSMA on their operations. In addition, CFSA is publishing an interactive online tool that walks producers through a series of questions that will allow them to figure out if they are covered by the Preventive Controls Rule and guide them to additional resources for detailed information about compliance with that Rule. These activities will empower producers to explain to their employees and to regulators what aspects of FSMA apply to the foods that they produce.
Check out CFSA's Food Safety Resource Hub and Training Events in the Carolinas!
By Hunter Free- National Farmers Union Intern
Are you a farmer looking to lower your farm's capital costs? Do you need help staying up to date on food safety best practices or regulatory requirements? Cooperatives across the country are fulfilling these needs for their members!
Cooperatives are organizations or businesses that are democratically owned and operated by members for the purpose of providing benefits to or sharing profits among those members. Agricultural cooperatives are incredibly diverse in structure, scale, and in the services they can provide. National Farmers Union's Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC) explored some of the different ways that cooperatives might be able to help their members when it comes to produce safety.
Read more on the blog here !
Maggie Kaiser, young farmer and Produce Safety Coordinator with The National Young Farmers Coalition, shares her perspective on the recently released Local Food Safety Collaborative Needs Assessment reports. Surveys and listening sessions were held across the country to try and understand the food safety needs of small-scale, local producers and processors. 
Read more about Maggie's main takeaways from the Needs Assessment reports here!  
FDA Updates   
  1. Open for Comment: You are invited to comment on FDA's Smarter Era of Food Safety. The comment period closes Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
  2. Upcoming Compliance Date: January 27, 2020, covered farms for which, on a rolling basis, the average annual monetary value of produce sold during the previous 3-year period is more than $25k but no more than $250k (very small businesses) must comply with FSMA's Produce Safety Rule.
  3. Updated Fact Sheet: FDA has updated their fact sheet "What to Expect of a Regulatory Inspection".
Upcoming Trainings 
View upcoming PSA Grower Trainings across the country!

View upcoming FSPCA Trainings across the country!
 Webinar: Farmers Markets & the Produce Safety Rule
Topic: Farmers Markets and the Produce Safety Rule  
Date & Time: Monday, December 2,  1:00pm- 2:00pm EST

Description: Join us for a free webinar about the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Safety Rule (FSMA PSR)and what farmers market managers should know about how it affects their produce vendors! Hosted by Ben Feldman, farmers market manager and Interim Executive Director, Farmers Market Coalition, and Billy Mitchell, FSMA Training Coordinator, National Farmers Union.  
What to Expect: No advance registration required! This free webinar will last one hour. There will be time for Q&A and links to resources will be provided. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the online afterward.
Join online Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 662 538 360
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Meeting ID: 662 538 360
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Get Organized with a Farm Food Safety Plan this Winter!
Having a written Farm Food Safety Plan is generally regarded as a good agricultural practice! Having a food safety plan tailored to your farm's operation helps you assess your produce safety risks. Writing a plan can also help you prepare for questions from potential buyers, or food safety audits or certifications. 
Produce Safety Alliance's Farm Food Safety Plan Template can help you get started developing a plan specifically tailored to the needs of your operation!
Click here to get started on your Farm Food Safety Plan!
 Are You Purchasing Soil Amendments from Third-party Suppliers?
Growers subject to FSMA's Produce Safety Rule that are purchasing treated biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAOs)--such as composted manure-- must be aware of the documentation needed to satisfy record-keeping requirements.
Read the BSAAO Fact Sheet here!

Ask the Experts
The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) recently launched its Technical Assistance Network (TAN). The FSPCA TAN is a place where you can ask technical questions related to implementation of the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule and get answers from a Food Safety Resource Team!

Know the Difference: Cleaning vs. Sanitizing
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) recently updated a cleaning vs. sanitizing fact sheet. It includes graphic depictions explaining the differences between cleaning and sanitizing, and detailed descriptions on proper procedures.

Click here to check out the fact sheet!
Save the Date
Growing for the Future is a free, online, interactive conference focused on building practical farm business skills! Hosted by National Farmers Union December 2-5, the conference includes farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A sessions, a discussion board, a resource center, and prizes!

Experts, educators and agricultural leaders will lead sessions on a wide variety of topics, including cooperative development, farm insurance, business planning, energy efficiency, and accounting.
Click here to learn more and register for FREE!
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