NSAC's Blog

States Receive $22 Million for FSMA Produce Rule Implementation

September 13, 2016

Photo credit: USDA.

Photo credit: USDA.

With FDA’s new food safety rules finalized and compliance clocks ticking, one of most common questions we hear is: who is going to be enforcing these new rules on farms, and how? While many of the details surrounding how exactly the rules will be implemented remain uncertain, last week FDA took a step toward answering the who question by awarding $21.8 million to states that submitted proposals to develop Produce Rule implementation plans.

These questions arise because the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) directs FDA to work with the states in implementing FSMA as part of a National Integrated Food Safety System. FDA has been very public that, particularly regarding the Produce Safety Rule, it views state departments of agriculture as the primary agencies that will be interacting with covered farms. To this end, FDA entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in order to assess each state’s authority to implement these new rules, and to develop an implementation framework for the states to rely upon.

Now, FDA is entering into cooperative agreements with individual states to develop and carry out plans for Produce Rule implementation. Not all states submitted proposals to develop their own Produce Rule implementation programs; of the states that did submit proposals, not all were from departments of agriculture – some were from health departments. You can see which states received funding here.

The majority of states received funding under what’s called “Competition A/B,” which provides funding for the awardee to invest in infrastructure, education, technical assistance, an inventory of affected farms, and an inspection, compliance and enforcement program. A small number of states received funding focused solely on infrastructure, education, technical assistance, and the farm inventory (“Competition A”), which signals that in those states (FL, OR, ID, IA, and NH), FDA is likely to be the enforcement authority. Seven states did not receive funding under either Competition A or A/B; it remains unclear how Produce Rule implementation will proceed in those states (ND, SD, WY, IL, MO, KY, MS).

Approaches to developing and implementing Produce Rule programs are likely to vary somewhat from state to state. However, each awardee is expected to use their funds toward the following goals of the cooperative agreement, as applies to their A or A/B status:

  1. Assess their produce landscape.
  2. Establish a process to develop and maintain a produce farm inventory.
  3. Provide resources for, and invest in, their program’s infrastructure.
  4. Coordinate with other local, state, territory, and federal agencies for produce safety activities.
  5. Formulate a multi-year plan to implement a produce safety system.
  6. Develop a performance measurement system, plan, and/or process system to measure the progress towards the goals of this cooperative agreement.
  7. Evaluate produce legislative or regulatory authority.
  8. Develop and/or provide education, outreach, and technical assistance, prioritizing farming operations covered by the rule.
  9. Develop and/or provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to the jurisdictional produce safety regulators.
  10. Design and implement a compliance program for applicable produce safety regulations at the jurisdictional level.

The first compliance date for the largest covered farms (those with $500,000+ in annual produce sales) is January, 2018.

NSAC continues to advocate for a participatory and transparent approach to FSMA implementation, and hopes that – with this additional support to carry out implementation activities – state agencies that received awards will extensively engage with state-level stakeholders, particularly including the full diversity of farm organizations, in the development of their implementation plans.


Categories: Food Safety, Local & Regional Food Systems

One response to “States Receive $22 Million for FSMA Produce Rule Implementation”

  1. Awesome approach we all should improve this by helping the government , In Nepal we are also starting some works together to improve our farming , Our professional and experienced engineering team are dedicated to serving you through the use of geoinformatics, remote sensing and GIS systems for the benefit of industries and commercial applications.