Goretti Alvarez – September 15, 2020

Over the course of three years, the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) has developed an online training program for California farmers as they work to meet the new compliance standards of the FDA FSMA Produce Safety Rule (PSR). With the help of CDFA funding, WIFSS has put together easily accessible educational resources and training materials to assist California specialty crop growers in their daily work. This preventative science-based program focuses on the risk of contamination of produce and public health protection through a range of topics such as domestic and wildlife intrusion, risk assessment, annual inspection, and hygiene measures, for both workers and equipment.

California is the largest agricultural producer and exporter, however many farms are operated and staffed by people who have emigrated here from other countries. For this reason, there is a need for training assistance, that is relevant to various cultures, available in other languages, and accessible to all. In order for all farmers in California to be successful, language barriers in training programs must be broken so that it is understandable for all growers as they work to meet new farming regulations. WIFSS is dedicated to assisting over 30,000 small produce farms and over 14,000 Latino farmers in California in successful farming by delivering this regulatory training program in a variety of languages, including Spanish.

At WIFSS we have a commitment to bridge the gap between resources and disadvantaged communities and farmers across California. In order to achieve this goal, the training program is free of cost for intended audience members – California specialty crop growers. The jobs these farmers do daily are crucial to the livelihood of countless people and we want to help them as best we can. Interested readers can easily access the FSMA online training on our website, register by clicking the link and filling out your information to get started with the course.