FDACS Cost-Share Program for Food Safety

Ernie Nefffinancial, Food Safety


The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is offering a cost-share program for producers of specialty crops who obtain food-safety certification.

Producers who obtained food-safety certification for specialty crop products (fruits, vegetables or tree nuts) through several programs could be eligible for reimbursement of 75% of certification costs, up to $1,500 per producer. Programs include the U.S. Department of Agriculture Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices, Global Good Agricultural Practices, Global Food Safety Initiative and Safe Quality Food.

To apply, growers should download the application form and return it by email to FDACS. FDACS staff will then contact applicants to obtain any necessary documentation and help them complete the application package. More information on requirements and eligibility can be found through the FDACS industry assistance portal.  

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until available funds are expended. The final deadline for applications is Sept. 1.

To qualify for reimbursement, the applicant must obtain food-safety certification of its specialty crop producing operations between March 1, 2021 and Aug. 31, 2021. Reimbursement will be paid only for specialty crop commodity certification. Producers must be located within the state of Florida to be eligible for reimbursement, and the certified operations must also be within the state.

Each operation may only receive one reimbursement per year the program is offered, and no operation may receive more than 75% of total certification costs or $1,500.00 total reimbursement, whichever is lower.

Costs eligible for reimbursement are those directly related to the certification process, application fees, on-farm audit costs, travel expenses of auditors and federal certification fees. Costs not eligible for reimbursement include late fees, inspections due to violations, transitional certifications, materials, supplies and equipment.

If growers have questions, they should contact specialtycrop@fdacs.gov or 850-617-7340.

Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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