As part of the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA established science-based standards for safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption, as outlined in the FDA regulation, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption," commonly referred to as the Produce Safety Rule.
To fairly and effectively implement the rule, federal and state government regulatory entities, produce growers, processors, industry and universities must work together. In this spirit, the FDA awarded the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) funding through a cooperative agreement to educate the produce sector about the new rule and implement it. As part of DATCP's efforts to implement the rule, it formed a Produce Safety Advisory Council.
Purpose and Structure
The purpose of the council is to provide expertise and guidance to DATCP on actions that can be taken to advance an integrated produce safety system in Wisconsin.
The council will consist of no less than 12 people representing multiple stakeholder groups involved with fresh fruit and vegetable production, processing and marketing across Wisconsin. This includes:
- 4 produce farmers, reflecting different geographic areas and farm types.
- 4 business sector representatives (e.g., retail, wholesale buyer, grocery and restaurant).
- 1 representative from a tribal nation.
- 1 representative of an organization representing produce consumers.
- 1 representative from a private, nonprofit educational organization involved in fresh fruit and vegetable production research or outreach.
- 1 at-large member.
- 1 ex officio representative from UW-Extension
- 2 ex officio representatives from DATCP
Member terms are for two years, with four seats up for selection each year. To create the rotation of seats, initially half of the members will serve a one-year term, and half will serve a two-year term. Members may serve more than one term, and up to three terms. Nominations will be taken at the meeting preceding and the meeting at which a seat becomes open, with voting by current members at the latter meeting.
The Council will conduct its business primarily via quarterly half–to-all-day meetings, email and conference calls.
Shawn Bartholomew, Produce Supervisor, Bureau of Food and Recreational Business