Start with A Farm Description— End with a Great Farm Food Safety Plan
Writing your Farm Description is a smart strategy for getting started on your Farm Food Safety Plan (FFSP), a useful and important farm planning, management, and food safety tool. An FFSP is not required for farms whether they are covered by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule or not, but there are many benefits of a well-written plan.
Farm Food Safety Plan Benefits
A current FFSP helps growers organize farm documents, identify risks and outline actions to lessen or eliminate them, define best practices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and prepare staff for any questions that may arise from buyers or regulators. It gathers a lot of important and detailed farm information that will help with maintaining and improving efficiency, quality, and food safety on your farm.
Where Do I Start?
It can seem overwhelming at first, but an easy and key beginning step to writing an FFSP is writing the “Farm Description”. Start with the farm description section by documenting essential information about your farm. Include the following items for a comprehensive farm description:
- The farm name, address, and description.
- The year the farm was started.
- A farm mission statement (if you have one).
- Contact information for the farm owner, farm manager, supervisors, attorneys, and any other key personnel.
- Who oversees food safety on the farm.
- Supplier and buyer information.
- Contact information for contracted services.
- What the property has previously been used for.
- Farm maps.
- Crop(s)/Livestock grown on the property (acres owned, leased, contracted, or consigned for each crop).
- What is on adjacent properties.
- Acres not in production.
- Physical buildings operated in conjunction with this farm’s operations, such as packing house square footage.
Your own Farm Description can be as simple as the example below or depending on the size and complexity of your farm business, it may contain additional details about contractors and animals/crops/other uses of adjacent land.
Writing a Farm Description for your Farm Food Safety Plan is written by ksy37 for extension.unh.edu