Berry Industry Drafts Food Safety White Paper

With food safety stories continuing to make headlines, many segments of the produce industry are trying to be proactive in establishing policies and practices to address the issue. Berry growers are no exception; this past February, members of the National Berry Crops Initiative (NBCI) compiled a white paper outlining food safety recommendations, suggested policy standards, and grower practices in the field. Click here to read the white paper.

According to Joe DeVerna of Ocean Spray Cranberries, the white paper is more about policy recommendations than about grower recommendations. “Many growers and handlers are already encouraging the development of Good Agricultural Practices,” says DeVerna. “Our first priority is that developing government policies reflect scientifically-based crop-specific risk.”

The white paper offers several recommendations on how to accomplish this, including supporting research to assess the microbiological risk of each berry crop; making sure produce safety standards are commodity specific and region specific; and ensuring that any standards do not lead to multiple audit systems and skyrocketing costs.

“Growers already understand the risk to their business of a food safety outbreak,” says DeVerna. “Our hope is that the recommendations developed in the white paper will provide the framework through which growers can better understand the bigger issues of food safety policy, namely: scientific-risk assessment, crop-specific standards, standardized testing, and the benefits of single on-farm audit systems. Growers are already grasping the critical food safety role that GAPs, tracebacks, and crisis management plans play in protecting their businesses from such devastating economic setbacks as product recalls.”

When it comes to standards, the white paper addresses the issue of voluntary versus mandatory policies. While stopping short of making compliance mandatory, the paper notes that, “the impact of a foodborne outbreak is so significant that it compels maximum participation in voluntary programs.”

The white paper also points out that there are huge differences among berry crops in size, horticulture (some are low growing, some are tall shrubs), and growing season (some are perennial, others are annual). “It would be inappropriate to develop one-size-fits-all standards for berry crops, but much more appropriate to evaluate the separate risks for each berry crop type,” says DeVerna.

Check out the NBCI website at www.nationalberrycrops.org for more information.

To read the NBCI white paper, click here.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Apple Grower of the YearBill Dodd Is An Apple Grower For Our Future
August 3, 2015
The judging for the Apple Grower Of The Year award is an interesting process that takes us through new twists Read More
GenNext GrowersPotato Industry Leadership Institute Program To Be Held In February
August 3, 2015
The application and scholarship deadline is Oct. 15, 2015. Read More
Vegetables13 Of The Latest Pepper Varieties
August 3, 2015
This month’s variety specs feature focuses on pepper varieties. Features highlighted include great disease resistance packages, excellent yield potential, and more. Be Read More
Apple Grower of the YearBill Dodd, The 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year
August 3, 2015
  Informed of his selection as the 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year by American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower™ Read More
Farm ManagementLocally Grown The Lipman Way
August 3, 2015
With Lipman Local, the Florida operation has developed a mutually beneficial program that sources local produce around the country and helps smaller growers raise their game. Read More
Farm ManagementCorrect Misconceptions About Farming [Opinion]
August 3, 2015
Misinformation about agriculture abounds. We need to put a stop to it and set the record straight. Read More
UFR-2 Vernia citrus rootstock
Citrus Achievement AwardLessons Learned Via Citrus Variety Evaluation Never End
August 1, 2015
Orie Lee, the 2015 Citrus Achievement Award winner, discusses his decades-long involvement with Vernia. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoResearchers To Put 3 Major Crop Threats On Trial
August 1, 2015
Nematode, disease, and weed management on deck for the 10th annual Florida Ag Expo. Read More
woman smashing an alarm clock with a hammer
CitrusDon’t Become A Time Crunch Casualty
July 31, 2015
Finding the balance between work life and home life is easier said than done for GenNext Growers. Read More
PotatoesLate Blight Confirmed In Areas Of Idaho; Number Of Potato Psyllids Dips
July 31, 2015
The number of potato psyllids decline while additional fields are noted as having late blight. Read More
The Latest
Apple Grower of the YearBill Dodd Is An Apple Grower For Our Future
August 3, 2015
The judging for the Apple Grower Of The Year award is an interesting process that takes us through new twists Read More
GenNext GrowersPotato Industry Leadership Institute Program To Be Held…
August 3, 2015
The application and scholarship deadline is Oct. 15, 2015. Read More
Vegetables13 Of The Latest Pepper Varieties
August 3, 2015
This month’s variety specs feature focuses on pepper varieties. Features highlighted include great disease resistance packages, excellent yield potential, and more. Be Read More
Apple Grower of the YearBill Dodd, The 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year
August 3, 2015
  Informed of his selection as the 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year by American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower™ Read More
Farm ManagementLocally Grown The Lipman Way
August 3, 2015
With Lipman Local, the Florida operation has developed a mutually beneficial program that sources local produce around the country and helps smaller growers raise their game. Read More
Farm ManagementCorrect Misconceptions About Farming [Opinion]
August 3, 2015
Misinformation about agriculture abounds. We need to put a stop to it and set the record straight. Read More
UFR-2 Vernia citrus rootstock
Citrus Achievement AwardLessons Learned Via Citrus Variety Evaluation Never End
August 1, 2015
Orie Lee, the 2015 Citrus Achievement Award winner, discusses his decades-long involvement with Vernia. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoResearchers To Put 3 Major Crop Threats On Trial
August 1, 2015
Nematode, disease, and weed management on deck for the 10th annual Florida Ag Expo. Read More
woman smashing an alarm clock with a hammer
CitrusDon’t Become A Time Crunch Casualty
July 31, 2015
Finding the balance between work life and home life is easier said than done for GenNext Growers. Read More
PotatoesLate Blight Confirmed In Areas Of Idaho; Number Of Pota…
July 31, 2015
The number of potato psyllids decline while additional fields are noted as having late blight. Read More
Apples & PearsReTain Now Registered For Double Application
July 31, 2015
ReTain plant growth regulator (PGR) has been registered by EPA with a new label use that allows pome fruit growers Read More
Crop ProtectionLettuce Disease Gives E. Coli A Boost
July 31, 2015
E. coli prefer cut, injured, and young lettuce leaves. Read More
Farm ManagementAn Excellent Industry Education [Opinion]
July 31, 2015
The end of one era, and the ushering in of another. Read More
Stone FruitThe Strong Staying Power Of The Redhaven Name In Peache…
July 31, 2015
People tend to be nostalgic about peach varieties, but the switch of varieties grown by a region happens for a Read More
Crop ProtectionResources For Knowing Your Soil
July 30, 2015
Getting to know your soil and learning other environmental and natural resources data can be downloaded and is available for use with many computer software platforms for general resource analysis and farm management. Read More
money
CitrusBankrupt Florida Farm To Yield Plenty Of Land, Equipmen…
July 30, 2015
As many as seven different buyers could be part of this Chapter 11 proceeding. Read More
Sanjay Shukla
ProductionGeometrically Speaking, Thinking Smaller Might Produce …
July 30, 2015
University of Florida scientist develops compact planting bed formula that cuts water, fertilizer, and pesticide use in half. Read More
GrapesDrought’s Impact On California Winegrapes
July 30, 2015
The impact is minimal this year, but the future is uncertain if the drought continues. Read More