With consumers’ growing interest in fresh produce consumption and support of local community, the number of farmers’ markets has significantly increased over the past decade. In Florida, it is estimated that over 230 farmers’ markets operate in the state. With their steady growth, farmers’ markets have become an important source of revenues for farmers of small-sized operations. However, the increasing popularity has also raised food safety concerns for produce sold at farmers’ markets. Learning best practices for food safety and developing appropriate control measures will improve the safety of food sold at farmers’ markets and increase its marketability.
This workshop is intended to provide the farmers’ market managers and vendors with information on current food safety issues associated with farmers’ markets, best food safety practices at both farms and markets, and state regulatory requirements for cottage food products and farmers’ markets. In addition, this workshop provide information on farmers’ market consumer trends and strategic planning for marketing. The target audience is Florida farmers’ market managers, vendors, and any farmers and cottage food operators who are interested in selling their food at farmers’ markets. If registered by July 31st, the registration fee for the course is $40. From Aug 1st, the fee will be $50. Registration includes course materials, lunch, coffee breaks and certificate of training completion. Please register early, as course size will be limited to the first 35 registrants due to the room capacity.
Orange County Extension Service Office is located at 6021 S. Conway Rd., Orlando, FL. You can access a map and driving direction at http://ocextension.ifas.ufl.edu/map.html. Parking spots for the workshop participants will be available at the venue.
Note that the format of the course will be presentations by the instructors. The instructor team for this course is comprised of University of Florida faculty and representatives from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS), Florida Organic Growers (FOG), and farmers market.
This workshop is partially supported by Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) Specialty Crop Block Grant.
9:00 am Registration
9:20 am Welcome and Introduction (Soo Ahn, UF/IFAS; LuAnn Duncan, OCES)
9:30 am Overview of Florida Farmers’ Markets: Current Status and Future (Danielle Treadwell, UF/IFAS)
10:00 am Food Safety Issues Associated with Farmers’ Markets (Soo Ahn, UF/IFAS)
10:20 am Break
10:35 am Farmers’ Market Food Safety 101 (Keith Schneider, UF/IFAS)
11:05 am Safety Guidelines for Growers and Vendors of Farmers’ Markets (Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS)
11:35 am Safety Guidelines for Consumers of Farmers’ Markets (Amy Simonne, UF/IFAS)
12:05 pm Catered lunch and networking
1:15 pm Farmers’ Markets: What Matters Most to the Customers? (Claire Mitchell, Haile Plantation Market, Gainesville, FL)
1:45 pm Multiple Payment Options for Farmers Markets / EBT/ SNAP (Mary Hathaway, FOG)
2:15 pm Farmers Market Operation: How to Ensure Products Are in Compliance (FDACS – pre-recorded video)
2:45 pm Open Discussion, Question and Answer session
3:00 pm Evaluation/Adjourn