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
Montmorency tart cherries
Stone FruitWinter Storm Surprises Utah Fruit Growers
April 20, 2015
Snow and cold temperatures threatened tart cherries already in full bloom. Read More
Stone FruitNew Product Developed To Prevent Cherry Cracking
April 20, 2015
Biofilm, developed at Oregon State University, protects fruit from rain-related losses. Read More
FruitsMarch Was The Fifth Warmest Month On Record In Washington
April 20, 2015
Wapato recorded all-time high of 80 degrees. Read More
citrus black spot symptoms
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Black Spot Rears Its Ugly Head Again In Southwest Florida
April 20, 2015
Recent confirmed findings of the fungal malady forces USDA-APHIS to expand regulated area. Read More
tomatoes and strawberries
BerriesScientists Seek To Save Flavor Of Tomatoes And Strawberries
April 17, 2015
A $500,000 grant will enable University of Florida researchers to focus on how light can affect the quality and taste of produce after harvest. Read More
GrapesThe Economic Impact Of Grapevine Leafroll Disease
April 17, 2015
Different control strategies are recommended depending on the prevalence of the disease in vineyard blocks. Read More
Natalie Parkell and Kevin Osburn of Vertical Horizon Farms
CitrusSmall Family Farms Can Survive [Opinion]
April 17, 2015
It is reassuring amid the corporate climate the agriculture industry has experienced in more recent times that there is still room for the little guy, and — more importantly — a need. Read More
GrapesTable Grape Commission Awarded More Funding To Study Postharvest Treatment
April 16, 2015
The research will ensure California grape exports continue uninterrupted. Read More
Tom West Blueberries family
BerriesUrban Sprawl Doesn’t Stop 4th-Generation Florida Farm From Growing
April 16, 2015
Growing in town supports the evolution of Tom West Blueberries. Read More
Golden Rice
CitrusMore Social Commentators Changing Their Views On GMO Crops
April 15, 2015
Could public opinion be swayed by evolving narration on genetic modification? Read More
The Latest
Montmorency tart cherries
Stone FruitWinter Storm Surprises Utah Fruit Growers
April 20, 2015
Snow and cold temperatures threatened tart cherries already in full bloom. Read More
Stone FruitNew Product Developed To Prevent Cherry Cracking
April 20, 2015
Biofilm, developed at Oregon State University, protects fruit from rain-related losses. Read More
FruitsMarch Was The Fifth Warmest Month On Record In Washingt…
April 20, 2015
Wapato recorded all-time high of 80 degrees. Read More
citrus black spot symptoms
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Black Spot Rears Its Ugly Head Again In Southwes…
April 20, 2015
Recent confirmed findings of the fungal malady forces USDA-APHIS to expand regulated area. Read More
tomatoes and strawberries
BerriesScientists Seek To Save Flavor Of Tomatoes And Strawber…
April 17, 2015
A $500,000 grant will enable University of Florida researchers to focus on how light can affect the quality and taste of produce after harvest. Read More
GrapesThe Economic Impact Of Grapevine Leafroll Disease
April 17, 2015
Different control strategies are recommended depending on the prevalence of the disease in vineyard blocks. Read More
Natalie Parkell and Kevin Osburn of Vertical Horizon Farms
CitrusSmall Family Farms Can Survive [Opinion]
April 17, 2015
It is reassuring amid the corporate climate the agriculture industry has experienced in more recent times that there is still room for the little guy, and — more importantly — a need. Read More
GrapesTable Grape Commission Awarded More Funding To Study Po…
April 16, 2015
The research will ensure California grape exports continue uninterrupted. Read More
Tom West Blueberries family
BerriesUrban Sprawl Doesn’t Stop 4th-Generation Florida …
April 16, 2015
Growing in town supports the evolution of Tom West Blueberries. Read More
Golden Rice
CitrusMore Social Commentators Changing Their Views On GMO Cr…
April 15, 2015
Could public opinion be swayed by evolving narration on genetic modification? Read More
EquipmentTips To Reduce Soil Compaction In The Field
April 15, 2015
Growers are encouraged to check and maintain proper tire pressure as temperature changes throughout the growing season. Read More
FruitsNew Protective Coating Available For Bee Hives
April 14, 2015
Sustainable crop management company Biobest has announced the launch of “Bee-Coat,” a new protective coating for bumblebee hives. It is Read More
Gala green tip apple bloom
Apples & PearsApple Scab Spores Begin To Emerge In Pennsylvania
April 14, 2015
Now is a good time to apply copper sprays to protect trees. Read More
FruitsRecord Low Snowpack In Washington State
April 14, 2015
Experts say snowmelt occurring earlier than expected. Read More
Crop ProtectionMore Help Needed To Track Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, …
April 14, 2015
This pest, a problem in apples, tomatoes, and other fruit in the North, has recently moved into Georgia.    Read More
NutsPart 2: Spring Weed Management Tips For Almonds: Reduce…
April 14, 2015
Follow these tips to help improve long-term efficacy of herbicides. Read More
NutsPart 2: Combating Navel Orangeworm: IPM Approaches to R…
April 14, 2015
Follow these IPM approaches to reduce unnecessary sprays and manage pyrethroid resistance. Read More
CucurbitsHow To Control Damaging Diseases In Melons
April 14, 2015
Some of the top diseases to watch for include Fusarium wilt, angular leaf spot, and powdery mildew. Read More