To identify farms that are most likely required to comply with the Produce Safety Rule (also known as FSMA), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) obtained limited public information from the CalAg Permits system, maintained by the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association (CACASA), and used by each county to collect Pesticide Use Reports and issue application permits. To obtain additional farm information to make informed decisions about inspections, CDFA has asked farmers to fill out and return the farm questionnaire. There are now two versions of the questionnaire: one for large farms (more than $500,000 in average annual sales during the previous 3 years) and one for smaller farms (less than $500,000 in average annual sales during the previous 3 years).
Approximately 12,000 of California’s largest produce farms received a letter requesting information about their farms earlier this year. Approximately 40% of questionnaires were returned.
Approximately 8,000 letters and questionnaires have now been sent to smaller produce farms in California to educate them about upcoming Produce Safety Rule stages of compliance and enforcement.
Smaller produce farms are asked to return their questionnaires to CDFA by Aug. 31, 2019. The questionnaire can be found online at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/producesafety/FarmerQuestionnaire.html.