The current buzz among farmers in Florida is the Florida Food Freedom Act. The purpose of the Act is to initiate lighter inspection from USDA for small farmers. This does not diminish the safety of foods produced in Florida and will bring more food to the local table.
Florida farmers are proud of food they produce
Many small farmers are working to get the word out and ensure the public that food safety will not be an issue, actually, it will be safer. “The long chain that brings beef to your table from the grocery store is populated by workers who don’t really care about the food or you, the ultimate customer. By contrast, the farmer to consumer transaction is one where the farmer is eating one of the same chickens as you are – some of the same beef and eggs you’re eating. That farmer is concerned not only about you – but about his own family’s safety. The food safety course educates the farmer to do an even better job of protecting you and his family, “ comments Sandra Williams of Cognito Farms in Starke. The long chain of food distribution will be made shorter, thus reducing food borne pathogens, when food is properly cooked.
Florida farmers want to keep food in Florida.
The high quality of food produced by small farmers surpasses the freshness of store bought fruits and vegetables. Many wonder why we don’t see more locally produced foods in Florida. One of the many reasons is because of outdated food regulations in Florida that are not up to par with other states regulations.
Lighter inspection for small farmers
Sandra Williams says, “What the Florida Food Freedom Act is trying to do is put Florida’s rules in line with many, many other states’ rules. Like Virginia, where Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm grows food – he operates under USDA regulations. That’s what we’re asking for and the changes in language (3,000 layers and 20,000 dressed poultry) are the USDA levels for lighter inspection.”
Florida farmers want honesty
Florida farmers care about the food they produce and are tired of having to sell it labeled as “For pet consumption only.” Sandra Williams comments that, ” This product has not been produced in a facility permitted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.” is way more honest than “not for human consumption”.
The Florida Food Freedom Act will alleviate this problem as well as make us up to date with other states USDA regulations for small farm producers. This Act is desired to be in effect July of 2010. Your help is needed. Phone calls and emails to Senator Carey Baker and Representative Bryan Nelson, and other Florida legislators and representatives are needed to get this bill passed. Spread the word to other small farmers in your area so they may become involved.
For more info:
http://tiny.cc/Floridafoodfreedom, http://tiny.cc/senatorbaker, http://tiny.cc/Repnelson