The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) will hold a question-and-answer session via Zoom on Thursday, August 13 at 6 p.m. on the proposed Produce Safety and Market Access Regulations for fresh fruits and vegetables in the Commonwealth. This follows a previous public hearing on August 6, where farmers and other stakeholders shared their concerns and suggestions on the regulations.
The mission of the Massachusetts Produce Safety Program is to assist in the prevention of produce-related foodborne illness, while also increasing market access for fruits and vegetables that are grown, harvested, and processed in the Commonwealth.
These draft regulations follow Massachusetts’s state implementation of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act. They establish statewide minimum standards relating to the sanitary and safe growing, harvesting, labeling, packing, and storing of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Program services can include:
- Inspection of produce farms under state authority in Massachusetts (G.L. c. 128, §124);
- Provision of Massachusetts Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP) for fresh produce Audits;
- Deployed technical assistance, pre-audits, and readiness reviews;
- Farm food safety practice adoption through MDAR’s grant programs;
- Producer education and training by commodity, using both national and local curriculum;
- Marketing and promotional support to sustain and increase the procurement of certified/inspected Massachusetts’ grown fruits and vegetables.
Written comments will also be accepted and considered until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020. Written testimony must be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to Michael Botelho, 30 Riverside Drive, Suite 202, Lakeville, MA 02342.
Topic: Draft Regulations for Produce Safety and Market Access
Time: Aug 13, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83492101256?pwd=NmorN3cxOUpuZkwydUZJdHJ5Sy9DZz09
Meeting ID: 834 9210 1256
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View the draft regulations at MDAR’s official web site.