This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced two new opportunities for funding to assist with enhancing food safety under the agency’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The two financial gestures will be given in the form of cooperative agreements. One is for Native American Tribes Outreach, Education and Training to enhance food safety and FSMA compliance in the amount of $750,000 each year for three years. The other is for Local Food Producer Outreach, Education and Training to enhance food safety and FSMA compliance in the amount of $1.5 million in fiscal year 2016, with the possibility of two additional years of support if satisfactory performance is achieved and the funds are still available.
These cooperative agreements are meant to focus specifically on federal preventive controls regulations under FSMA, particularly the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Food rules.
Under FSMA, the FDA’s federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners require better integration and partnership--all in the name of achieving public health goals. Through these efforts, the FDA is working to develop an integrated food safety system. According to an official statement released by the agency, “FDA anticipates that federally recognized tribes will need food safety education and training that addresses the regulatory requirements of the applicable FSMA rules and also encompasses specific cultural practices associated with produce farming and food manufacturing/processing within tribes relevant to their status as sovereign nations.”
Because the FDA believes that local food producers and processors will need food safety training that revolves around produce farming and food manufacturing and processing, the agency has also announced an additional funding opportunity for local food producers for outreach, education and training to enhance food safety and FSMA compliance. This funding is for owners and operators of small and mid-size farms and businesses that handle food production and processing, with an emphasis on those that are involved in local food systems, while taking into account diversified, sustainable, organic and identity-preserved agricultural production and processing.
Details about each funding opportunity can be found at FDA.gov.