The Produce Safety Alliance is recruiting stakeholders to help develop a national good agricultural practices curriculum for fresh produce.
Based at Cornell University, the alliance was created in November as a public-private partnership to train growers on safe practices and regulatory requirements, including the upcoming Food and Drug Administration rule proposal on food safety.
Now the alliance has launched a website and is asking growers, packers, researchers, regulators and others to join one of 10 alliance working committees, according to a news release.
The focus of each committee varies. Topics include production and post-harvest handling issues related to risk assessment; preventive practices; food safety plan writing; and certification activities, among others.
Membership forms can be downloaded or requested by phone at 315-787-2625.
The committees are expected to lay the groundwork for the allianceâs GAPs Educational Materials Conference slated for June 29-30 in Orlando, Fla.
âDuring the conference, the alliance will review existing materials, determine where new or additional materials are needed, and begin developing those materials,â Betsy Bihn, Produce Safety Alliance project director, said in the release.
The FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture are funding the alliance over three years with $1.15 million.
âThe alliance will bring a wide range of voices to the table and use that information to develop a valuable curriculum for fresh fruit and vegetable food safety practices,â deputy secretary of agriculture Kathleen Merrigan said in the release. âI encourage all interested parties to assist in these efforts as we move forward.â