The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been offering webinars followed by live Q&A sessions on the Produce Safety rule and the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for stakeholders in Latin America. The webinars will be taking place through August 9, 2021. 

The U.S. imports 32 percent of its fresh vegetables and 57 percent of its fresh fruits year-round, to meet U.S. consumers' expectations of produce availability. Approximately 46 percent of all fresh produce consumed in the U.S. is imported from Latin America, and most of that is from Mexico.

The Produce Safety rule, one of seven rules established under FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), establishes science-based minimum standards for safe production of fruits and vegetables, as well as safe harvesting. Farms that export select fruits and vegetables to the U.S. might be subject to the Produce Safety rule. Complying with this rule is a requirement for the import of certain fruits and vegetables to the U.S. 

All presentations will be given by FDA's Produce Safety Expert Dr. Mauricio Castelo. In addition to information about the Produce Safety rule, Dr. Castelo will provide information on the FSVP to provide foreign suppliers information about using processes and procedures during food production that provide an equal level of public health protections as those required under the applicable sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. These protections are mandated under FSMA. 

Attendees will be able to submit questions through registration, as well as to ask questions following the presentation. 

FDA has made it a priority to provide outreach on the Produce Safety rule to the produce industry and farms in the U.S. and abroad. It's also core to FDA's New Era for Smarter Food Safety Blueprint. 

Additionally, a Produce Safety Working Group, established in 2018 as the result of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-FDA Formal Agreement, currently represents collaborative interests on the part of both agencies to help guarantee the safety of imported produce.


Presentation Schedule:

In Spanish:

Central America: Thursday, July 22, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT

South America (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia): Friday, July 23, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT

South America (Chile, Uruguay, Argentina): Thursday, July 29, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT

In English:

Caribbean and other English-speaking countries: Thursday, August 5, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT

In Portuguese:

Brazil: Monday, August 9, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT