Background Information 

At the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, we believe that local and regional food networks do the best job of protecting your family’s health and safety because they deliver fresher, more nutritious foods. That’s why it’s so important that we protect our small and organic food producers from being crushed by regulations meant for industrial farms and factories.


Making ‘Food Safety’ Safe for Small Farms and Local Food

In 2010, CFSA helped lead the successful effort to protect small farms and businesses serving local food markets from new federal authority under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA gives the US Food and Drug Administration new powers to dictate farming practices for fresh produce, and to put a wide range of food-making businesses out of business. But the legislation was just the first step.


In 2013, the FDA published proposed rules for implementing FSMA.  These rules were badly flawed and threatened to put many small, sustainable farmers out of business.  CFSA and our allies rallied farmers, entrepreneurs and consumers nation-wide to protest these bad proposals—over 20,000 comments poured in demanding major changes.  In another huge victory for our movement, FDA went back to the drawing board.


In fall 2014, FDA issued revised proposed regulations relating to several key issues, including the use of compost and manure, food hubs and cooperatives, the definition of a farm, water standards, animal feed, conservation practices and record-keeping.  Again, CFSA and other sustainable ag organization’s rallied local organic farming supporters to demand further changes.  The comment period on those rules ended in December, with another 4,000 comments from the public.


Our Healthy Food Work

CFSA promotes healthy, local, organic food by—

  • Representing small and organic farms with state and federal food safety agencies.
  • Organizing farmers and local food supporters to educate lawmakers and agency officials about ways  to protect and promote local, organic agriculture.
  • Providing legal resources to small farms and food entrepreneurs for meeting food safety rules.
  • Serving on the Food System Integrity committee of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
  • Researching practical, cost-effective ways for small and organic farms to improve their abilities to prevent their products from being contaminated and training farmers on those techniques. Learn more about our Local Produce Safety Initiative here.

Thanks to support from people like you, CFSA has helped small-scale, local and organic food producers and their customers win major, against-the-odds victories. We’ve broken new ground in winning legal recognition for the unique contribution of local, organic food and farming to a healthier food future.

But, the fight for food safety isn’t over.  Please see our Food Safety Action Center and sign up for Action Alerts.


Join CFSA today