To assist small to medium-size food processors and farm owners meet the training, education and technical assistance requirements of the new standards established under FSMA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced it was teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to fund training efforts in these critical areas.
In a statement, the FDA says priority will be given to those submitting grant applications to train owners and operators of small and medium-size farms; farmers just starting out in business; socially disadvantaged farmers; small food processors; small fruit and vegetable wholesalers; and farms that lack access to food safety training and other educational opportunities.
Training and education are key components to the successful implementation of FSMA and the ability of food processors and growers to successfully pass third-party audits, which have increased in frequency with the growing influence of GFSI and other audit standards. For more information on the program visit www.nifa.usda.gov
In a related note, the FDA announced this month that is was requesting an additional $109.5 million in funding to help with the implementation of FSMA as part of the President’s 2016 budget.