Application Available for 2023 On-farm Food Safety Expenses Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops program provides specialty crop producers with financial assistance for certain on-farm food safety program expenses. The 2023 application will become available on February 1, 2023 with a deadline for submission on January 31, 2024.
Under this program, which was launched in 2022, specialty crop operations may obtain assistance for eligible expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification issued on or after June 21, 2022. Assistance may receive assistance for the following expenses:
- Developing a food safety plan for first-time certification
- Maintaining or updating an existing food safety plan
- Food safety certification
- Certification upload fees
- Microbiological testing for products, soil amendments and water
- Food safety training
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a specialty crop operations
- Meet the definition of a small or very small business (A small business is defined as reporting an average annual monetary value of specialty crops sold in the preceding three years between $250,000 - $500,000. A very small business would have reported an average annual monetary specialty crop value during the three previous years of no more than $250,000.)
- Have paid eligible expenses related to certification
To apply for the program, producers must complete the FSA-888, Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program application and other relevant documents. The application documents can be submitted online, faxed, or printed and mailed/delivered in person to a local FSA office or USDA Service Center. Applicants can receive assistance by calling 877.508.8364.
Complete information is available online at farmers.gov/food-safety.