Grant Amount: $500
Who may apply?
South Carolina family farmers with farms located in counties subject to disaster declarations by the US Dept. of Agriculture or Federal Emergency Management Agency (see map here) as a result of flooding related to Hurricane Joaquin, and who have suffered hardship as a result may apply.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will heap unnecessary and expensive regulation on small food processors. FSMA is a federal law that passed Congress in 2011. The law directed the US Food and Drug Administration to write regulations that will require food processing facilities to engage in expensive, and time consuming practices.
Food processing facilities include cheese makers, coffee roasters, produce distribution companies and many more. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that it will cost very small food processing companies about $31,000 to comply with FSMA.
“[FDA] concludes that the proposed rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities… The regulatory costs of this proposed rule may discourage at least some new small businesses from entering the industry.”
This is bad news for the growing local food economy. But there is hope! Thanks to advocacy by CFSA and other organizations that represent small food processors, Congress gave states permission to regulate very small food processors using their own food safety regulations.
The South Carolina General Assembly is currently considering Senate Bill 284, which would allow South Carolina to regulate small food processing businesses using existing laws that are working for food processing businesses and consumers.
CFSA supports efforts to include an appropriation for a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) in the SC budget. Such an appropriation, which will to make it easier for farmers and food businesses working to connect people with healthy, local food, narrowly failed last year. CFSA is hard at work to make 2016 the year when S.C. invests in local farmers and food businesses by providing access to affordable credit to establish, renovate, or expand projects that increase access to healthy, local food in communities where access to this food is limited or totally unavailable.
SC Farm-to-Restaurant Sales at Risk
Salad mixes, bunched greens like chard and kale, and other leafy greens are a vital crop for hundreds of small SC sustainable farms, and restaurants are an important customer for those products. Now South Carolina’s Dept. of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has proposed rules that would cut most small farms off from the restaurant market for salad mixes, spinach, arugula, kale, chard, and even collards, hurting their economic viability and limiting restaurants’ access to the best, freshest products. Learn More
NEW PROGRAM FOR SC FARMERS ONLY
As an extension of our Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) consulting, CFSA staff are available to provide on-farm consulting to farmers about opportunities to take advantage of cost share assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Organic Initiative.
The consultation involves an on-farm visit, a tour of the farm to assess natural resource concerns that can be addressed by NRCS conservation practices and a discussion of how the producer can access cost share funding to implement the identified practices on his or her farm. The farm visit normally takes about two hours and also provides an opportunity for discussion of organic production concerns on the farm. A written report will be made available to the producer outlining recommended conservation practices.