FDA announced in 2010 that work had begun on a proposed rule for the safe production, harvesting and packing of fresh produce. To ensure that we develop the most effective and appropriate rule, now mandated by the recently enacted Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), over the past year FDA and USDA technical experts, scientists, and other staff participated in listening sessions and meetings in 13 states. In some of those states, we were able to tour farms large and small and talk to people who have the “on-the-ground” knowledge that FDA realizes must be reflected in the proposed rule.
Activities by State
Arizona - April 2010
Address Produce Marketing Association; tour of Nogales border operations; meeting with local produce industry leaders and key importers to the U.S.
California - April 2010
Full-day listening session and tours; second day session conducted entirely in Spanish.
Delaware - September 2009
Middletown, Laure, Wyoming
Listening session and tours of 67-acre produce farm and farm market and 2,000-acre farm.
PMA - From Field to Fork
Florida - October 2009
Half-day listening session and tours of two large tomato farms, large tomato repacking facility, farmers’ market, strawberry farm, organic farm, and hydroponic greenhouses.
Georgia - March 2010
Full-day listening session with local growers and packers, industry representatives.
Maryland - April 2010
Full-day listening session, drawing over 200 participants from 4 states.
Nevada - April 2010
United Fresh National Meeting - FDA staff delivered presentations on the produce safety rule; distributed information on how to submit comments.
New York - February 2010
Full-day listening session with local growers, packers, industry.
North Carolina - September 2009
Raleigh, Graham, Etland
Half-day listening session; tours of five-acre produce farm and 200-acre dairy and vegetable farm.
Ohio - March/May 2010
Full-day listening session in Columbus with growers; tours (with Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association); Mt. Hope Produce Auction; two Amish farms (Fredericksburg); small vegetable and grain farm (Milan) and 2,000-acre farm in Willard.
Oregon - May 2010
Presentations from local growers; half-day listening session; tours of two farms: a multi-generational family farm in Gresham and a certified organic 200-acre family-owned farm in Clakamas.
Pennsylvania - May 2010
Breakfast meeting with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; half-day listening sessions with growers; working lunch with Governor’s Food Safety Council.
Texas - April 2010
San Antonio, Pleasanton
Panel discussion among local industry representatives, growers; half-day listening session with growers, packers, Texas Department of Agriculture; tours of small family farm that sells direct to consumers and a 150-acre vegetable farm and packing operation.
Washington - May 2010
Department of Agriculture jointly sponsored the listening session held in Oregon.