La Montanita Cooperative provided farmer-friendly, food safety workshops for growers of all sizes throughout the state of New Mexico. These workshops present food safety through the lens of risk assessment and hazard mitigation, a framework through which most growers already approach their farm operations.
The workshops were divided into two "Tiers," allowing growers to engage with the topic
according to their level of understanding around food safety, as well as the applicability of the
workshops to their business' buyer requirements and possible Food Safety Modernization Act
Topics covered during these workshops included the following:
- Building producer adoption of a positive culture around food safety
- Navigating FSMA's compliance requirements and implementation dates
- Understanding risks and hazards, and how one leads to another
- Understanding market requirements and buyer expectations
- Understanding traceability programs
- How to conduct a food safety risk assessment
- How to write a standard operating procedure
The project included the provision and fine-tuning of these first two "Tiers" of workshops, as
well as the development of a third "Tier" of workshop that addressed the needs of growers wanting a mock audit, desk audit, and/or stress-test of their food safety system for a specific third party certification or FSMA compliance.