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Product Development for Farm and Food Businesses

November 4, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm


Are you a farmer diversifying into value added production or an entrepreneur developing new and exciting products? Do you have questions about how to integrate food safety and quality into the development of a value added food product? If so, this is the program for you!

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is collaborating with UMass Amherst, The University of Rhode Island, Commonwealth Kitchen, and the Western MA Food Processing Center at the Franklin County Community Development Corporation to offer this virtual program designed specifically to address food product development and food safety issues faced by small farmers and food producers.


This course will address the key attributes of formulating a product from concept to commercialization including food safety and scaling up considerations. You will learn about the food science basics, key elements required for product labeling, and an overview of key regulatory requirements for small and emerging food businesses, such as entrepreneurs and local food processors.

The course objective is to prepare small producers for what to expect when diving into value added food processing or scaling up an existing product. Real world local food and farm examples will be used.


  • This course consists of one self-paced online course with homework followed by a 4-hour virtual/online session and office hours that dive deeper into relevant topics.
  • Online session: Friday, November 4th, 9am-1pm
  • Office Hours: Will be held virtually with the option for in-person at the Western MA Food Processing Center or Commonwealth kitchen.
  • This is an updated version of a previous course hosted by CISA in winter of 2021.

Target Audience:

Target Audience: Ideal for farmers and specialty food producers using or planning to use licensed commercial kitchens to make value added food products whether on farm or in a shared use kitchen. It is also relevant, though not specifically tailored, to farmers considering on-farm processing of low-risk foods and producers making cottage foods in commercial residential kitchens.

Course Content

  • Food Safety Hazards: Understanding food safety hazards and identifying potential sources.
  • Product Development Life Cycle: Product development considerations from concept to commercialization.
  • Product Labeling: Guidance for basic nutritional labeling and claims.
  • Controlling Food Quality and Safety: Measurable approaches to monitoring the properties of your food product.
  • Food Safety Management: Introduction to regulatory bodies and the FDA Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule.
  • Hazard Analysis: Conducting a hazard analysis for your food product.
  • Preventive Controls: Identification of Preventive Controls, and the requirements for implementation.


Registration Fee: This program, including office hours and virtual sessions, is $50. We do not want finances to be a barrier to attendance and CISA offers sliding scale pricing to ensure anyone can attend. Please contact zoraia@buylocalfood.org or call 413-665-7100 ext. 15 for more information.

Funding for this series was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 190100xxxxG150. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Register here

Questions? Contact Zoraia De Jesus Barros at zoraia@buylocalfood.org or at 413-665-7100 ext. 15


November 4, 2022
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
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