SACRAMENTO, October 2, 2017- The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is seeking a contractor to provide food safety training for California produce growers. Interested parties can learn more and submit proposals through a Request for Proposals (RFP) that has been posted by the Department on the Cal eProcure website. Proposals are due October 16, 2017.
“The Department has received funding for 2018 in the amount of $450,000 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” explained Natalie Krout-Greenberg, Director of CDFA’s Inspection Services Division. “The funds are meant to provide farmers with affordable access to food safety training courses required under new FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) laws.”
The Division is working with the FDA to bring produce farmers in California into compliance with FSMA, which becomes effective January 2018. More than 20,000 produce farms in California are expected to be covered under what is called the Produce Safety Rule, one of several sections of the new law. As part of this Rule, each of these 20,000 farms must employ at least one individual who has completed an approved food safety training course.
To facilitate the training, CDFA has divided the state into four regions. Contractors who submit proposals must provide a plan to conduct classes in each region. Classes must be open to any grower who wishes to attend and the course curriculum must be accredited by the Produce Safety Alliance, located at Cornell University.
Much more detailed information is available in the official RFP, which can be accessed by registering at www.caleprocure.ca.gov and searching for bids under Department Number 8570. The official RFP title is “Environmental Auditing Unit, Standardized Grower Training” and there are four different RFPs – one for each training region. A hard copy of the RFPs can also be accessed by contacting Valerie Roberts, Contract Analyst at (916) 403-6518.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814