Community Food Security Coalition 2010
www.foodsecurity.org
The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a non-
profit ...
Food Safety and Liability Insurance Issues for
Marketing to Institutions
SATURDAY 10/16/2010, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
This short...
Thanks to the farmers who participated in the
assessments.
Thanks to the following partner organizations
for their support...
A Few Highlights of
the Farmer Assessments
 For the purposes of the assessments, we explained to
the producers that we we...
68% of the farmers indicated they have participated in a
training session on food safety procedures and many of
them detai...
When asked how they manage manure or compost to
prevent food safety concerns, some of the farmers
reported that they use m...
72% of the farmers have hired workers on their farms.
They have various food safety guidelines in place for their
workers:...
In terms of some of the challenging on-farm food safety
practices, testing private water sources and record
keeping seemed...
 Of the 68% of farmers who participated in training about
food safety procedures, the most common response in
terms of wh...
Product Liability Insurance
 During the farmer assessments, 72% of the farmers
indicated that they had product liability ...
Some recommended strategies in helping small or limited
resource producers address food safety and product
liability insur...
recommended strategies continued…
 If needed, help individual farmers work together to have a
group approach for addressi...
In conclusion:
Small and limited resource producers
seeking to increase their markets with
institutional buyers will need...
National Resources
Community Food Security Coalition:
www.foodsecurity.org
National Farm to School Network:
www.farmtoscho...
Kristen Markley
National Farm to Institution Program Manager
Community Food Security Coalition
717-240-1361, ext. #2
krist...
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Food Safety and Liability Insurance Issues for Marketing to Institutions

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Presentation given by Kristen Markley of CFSC on her research funded by RMA on Food Safety and Liability Insurance Issues for Marketing to Institutions.

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  • Through our farm to school and farm to college programs, we have seen that both food safety and product liability insurance requirements can create significant obstacles for limited resource producers trying to market their products to local institutions. Many small or limited resource producers cannot afford any insurance, or at most one million dollars in product liability. Institutions’ high insurance coverage requirement (often five million dollars is required) can impede producers’ ability to sell to institutional food service companies.
  • CFSC worked with these partners to gather information about these issues and to share that information with farmers, organizations, and institutions that could benefit from it. In addition to this short course, CFSC produced a report, a brochure (in English and Spanish) and a CD (in Spanish) designed to help limited resource producers, agricultural professionals who work with them, and institutional food service operators understand these issues. These publications are in your packets. The report is still in draft form. We will mail this to you when it is finished. The final version will include an extensive resource list of programs and publications you can use to further educate yourself on these issues.
  • During January, February and March of 2010, CFSC and its partner organizations conducted assessments with 25 small or limited resource farmers (fruit and vegetable growers) around the country. The partner organizations provided contact information for the producers who volunteered to participate in the assessments. The full summary of these assessments will be in the final version of the report that we will be sending you. The main body of the report includes some highlights of these findings. I will present some of these now. Rather than reading all of the slides for you, I will read a bit of the slide to get you started and then you can read the rest on your own. If anyone is having trouble reading the slides, feel free to move closer.
  • So we gathered an extensive amount of information through the farmer assessments. We also held in-depth discussions with the partner organizations, other agricultural professionals, federal and state agencies, food service management companies, and institutional food service directors. Through this information gathering process with multiple sources, these are some of the recommendations that emerged. Many of these we will be expanding upon further during this short course program.
  • Food Safety and Liability Insurance Issues for Marketing to Institutions

    1. 1. Community Food Security Coalition 2010 www.foodsecurity.org The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a non- profit 501(c)(3), North American organization dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times. We seek to develop self-reliance among all communities in obtaining their food and to create a system of growing, manufacturing, processing, making available, and selling food that is regionally based and grounded in the principles of justice, democracy, and sustainability.
    2. 2. Food Safety and Liability Insurance Issues for Marketing to Institutions SATURDAY 10/16/2010, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM This short course is part of a larger CFSC project, funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Purpose of project: to increase limited resource producers’ ability to market produce to local institutions by increasing their knowledge about the food safety and product liability insurance requirements of institutions and identifying practical solutions for these producers to address these requirements.
    3. 3. Thanks to the farmers who participated in the assessments. Thanks to the following partner organizations for their support in this project:  Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)  Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)  Jubilee Project (JP)  Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)  New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (NESFP)
    4. 4. A Few Highlights of the Farmer Assessments  For the purposes of the assessments, we explained to the producers that we were defining food safety procedures as “methods for the production, handling, storage, and processing of food in ways that prevent food borne illness.”
    5. 5. 68% of the farmers indicated they have participated in a training session on food safety procedures and many of them detailed several food safety practices they conduct on their farm.  For instance, when asked what they do to keep animals out of produce areas, most indicated several measures that they use:  Twenty eight percent of the responses indicated using fencing to keep animals (wild and domestic) out of the fruit and vegetable fields  12% of the responses included using other means for keeping produce and livestock areas segregated  17% of the responses specified using traps for keeping wild animals out of produce areas  Other responses included using row covers, using tactics that scare away animals (such as tin plates), and keeping border areas clean and cleared
    6. 6. When asked how they manage manure or compost to prevent food safety concerns, some of the farmers reported that they use more than one measure:  45% of the responses said that they purchase or secure composted manure from another location  27% that they do not use any animal products in compost that is used in produce fields  21% that they have a careful system for positioning the compost to maintain food safety
    7. 7. 72% of the farmers have hired workers on their farms. They have various food safety guidelines in place for their workers:  29% of the responses pointed to providing bathrooms and encouraging hand washing  17% pointed to workers not working when they are sick  11% pointed to workers covering their hair  23% of the responses reported employees undergoing some sort of food safety training  40% reported information being presented in Spanish
    8. 8. In terms of some of the challenging on-farm food safety practices, testing private water sources and record keeping seemed to be areas of difficulty. When asked about testing wash water and irrigation water:  44% of the farmers said that they use a spring or well water for one or both sources and test these private sources  30% said that they use spring or well water for one or both sources and do not test at least one of the private sources  17% said that they use public water for both sources and so do not test the water  9% were not sure if the wash water and irrigation water were tested  48% of the farmers indicated that no one involved in their farm operation keeps records of the food safety practices conducted on their farm
    9. 9.  Of the 68% of farmers who participated in training about food safety procedures, the most common response in terms of who organized the trainings was non-profit growers’ organization in the state or region.  Farmers expressed appreciation for groups like CFSC, state departments of agriculture, and non-profit growers’ organizations who are interested in helping producers address issues around food safety and liability insurance concerns and requirements.
    10. 10. Product Liability Insurance  During the farmer assessments, 72% of the farmers indicated that they had product liability insurance  64% indicated that they have customers who require this kind of coverage  Of the farmers who carried product liability insurance,  50% indicated that they had options  19% indicated that they didn’t have options  31% said that they did not look into options other than the one they signed up for
    11. 11. Some recommended strategies in helping small or limited resource producers address food safety and product liability insurance concerns:  Learn more about the history of food borne illnesses and outbreaks and the sources of these.  Find out what the current state, federal, institutional and, if applicable, distributor requirements are and provide the support farmers need in addressing these.  Get to know local farmers: find out about their operation, what the potential food safety risks are, what food safety methods are in place and what they need help with addressing: provide the support they need to address these gaps.  Research liability insurance options for farmers and provide an outline of the plans available.
    12. 12. recommended strategies continued…  If needed, help individual farmers work together to have a group approach for addressing food safety and product liability insurance requirements.  If possible, lower the amount of product liability insurance coverage required for a local farmer to sell to your institution in order to make it manageable for them.  Stay up to date with pending legislation related to these issues and support legislation that is fair to small and limited resource producers.  Given the success of state or regionally based non-profit growers’ organizations in working with this population of farmers, partner with these organizations in developing resources, programs, and solutions.
    13. 13. In conclusion: Small and limited resource producers seeking to increase their markets with institutional buyers will need assistance in finding adequate product liability insurance and in meeting requirements for food safety procedures.
    14. 14. National Resources Community Food Security Coalition: www.foodsecurity.org National Farm to School Network: www.farmtoschool.org National Farm to College program: www.farmtocollege.org Health Care Without Harm: www.noharm.org Community Food Security Coalition 2010
    15. 15. Kristen Markley National Farm to Institution Program Manager Community Food Security Coalition 717-240-1361, ext. #2 kristen@foodsecurity.org Community Food Security Coalition 2010

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