U.S – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets’ Produce Program have partnered with growers to celebrate the steps they take to bring food from the field to customers.
The Vermont Produce Program works with fruit and vegetable farmers across the state to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, which sets standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables.
Vermont’s farmers work hard to implement best practices for food safety and strengthen consumer confidence in the quality and safety of local fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We feel like there’s a responsibility to our customers. We really want to give them a product that they can trust. Providing food to families that really care about what they eat is the best part of what we do,” Taylor Mendell, Footprint Farm of Starksboro.
The campaign features Vermont farmers telling their stories, a message that puts a face with the product and invites all Vermonters to value the food they buy, how it’s produced, and who grows it.
“In Vermont, people really care about buying locally, and putting a face with the product. It was a growing plant; it was a crop. As soon as you cut it, it’s food. And you’ve got to keep it clean, “Hank Bissell, Lewis Creek Farm of Starksboro.
In developing this unique marketing initiative, the Vermont Produce Program took a collaborative approach to raising awareness about the culture of produce safety on local farms and why it matters to consumers.
A partnership with DigInVT.com created a landing spot for consumers to find local farms producing fresh produce.
“The Vermont Produce Program … it means good food. Quality food. And the support of Vermont farms. I know, coming off our farm, it was handled properly. I know our best practices. It’s the culture of our farm,” Melissa Mazza, Sam Mazza’s Farm Market of Colchester.
In addition, farmers were surveyed on what they would like their communities to know about their produce safety practices.
The program is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling US$ 615,263.