The On-Farm Food Safety Project was launched at a national press conference at USDA Headquarters on December 15th. Joined by a broad coalition of industry, non-profit, and government stakeholders, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan unveiled the online tool to help farmers create customized food safety plans.
"Farmers want to work the land, they don't want to spend days upon days trying to figure out paperwork," said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
Steve Murray, a produce farmer from Bakersfield, California used the tool to create a food safety plan and was one of the speakers at the USDA press conference. Mr. Murray commented, "If developing a food safety program were easy, everyone would be doing it, but they're not -- partly because developing a food safety program is difficult, and partly because it's expensive. If I can do this, anyone can do this. I was able to fill out the tool in a half a day. It's comprehensive, easy to use, you build it yourself, and you have ownership over your food safety plan. Using this tool has saved my farming operation a large amount of money."