Congressman Panetta Announces a $318,000 Federal Grant to Support Organic Farming
SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced a $318,300 federal grant for the California Certified Organic Farmer (CCOF) Foundation in Santa Cruz. The CCOF Foundation will use the U.S. Department of Agriculture-awarded grant to lead a multi-state initiative to support organic food processors through food safety compliance training and education.
“When Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011, it unintentionally left some of our small and mid-scale organic processors without the resources to live up to the standards of this law,” said Congressman Panetta. “When the federal government enacts legislation to keep our food supply chain safe, it also should ensure that our producers and processors have the tools necessary to uphold the law. This federal funding will help ease that burden so that our local organic farmers and food processors can implement the law and continue their success.”
“Our 1,400 certified organic processor handlers are excited to have access to this material, and we’re proud to partner with the USDA to support food safety compliance of producers.” Said Jessy Beckett Parr, CCOF Foundation Director.
With this federal funding, the CCOF Foundation will help create a culture of informed food-safety decision-making, consistent compliance, and a more complete understanding of the FSMA in California, Washington and Oregon's small and mid-scale organic food processor communities. The funding was awarded as part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) distribution of 24 grants totaling $7.6 million in federal funding for food safety training and education for small and mid-sized producers and processors impacted by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).