HDOA Accepting Grant Applications for Food Safety Certification
The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting grant applications to support local farmers and ranchers with the cost of aligning their operations with state and federal food safety regulations.
Hawai‘i farmers and ranchers may apply for reimbursement of eligible costs up to $5,000. The reimbursement will be distributed on a pro rata basis depending on the number of applicants and reimbursement requests received. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2019.
“All farms, regardless of size, should follow good agricultural practices to prevent food borne illnesses,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, acting chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “For many commercial farms, compliance is mandatory and this grant program will help to defray some of the costs associated with implementing the required food safety practices.”
Costs that are eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:
- Training in Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and costs of audits for good agricultural and handling practices;
- Installation of water systems, sanitizer treatment supplies and monitoring meters;
- Bacteriological analysis of water, raw produce or the facility;
- Personal hygiene equipment and supplies, including portable restrooms and hand-washing sinks, and worker protection clothing;
- Wildlife fencing, pest deterrents and traps;
- General clean up and removal of hazardous materials;
- Food traceablity software.
In 2018, the state legislature appropriated $475,000 for the grant program to help local food producers comply with the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act and other state food safety requirements.