“In some areas, LGMA food safety practices exceed the Produce Safety Rule,” explains Ward, “but LGMA members and produce buyers can be assured that by being in compliance with LGMA food safety practices, they are in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule as well.”
And while food safety is always of the utmost importance, “FSMA implementation will add additional costs for food safety monitoring, testing, tracking, and reporting,” points out Groot. In his opinion, more “regulatory requirements will not add measurable safety increments but only additional costs.”
In Salinas, where nearly one of every four families rely on income generated by agriculture, the future is always in flux. Though many businesses are grounded in the past, all must continually look to the future in this dynamic yet increasingly complex industry.
When asked about the rest of the year and/or the future of Salinas, Vertrees’ outlook is sunny. “We’re excited about the 2018 season and expect another strong year for our organic berry program out of the Salinas area.”
Roach agrees, noting he does not foresee any black swans and despite last year’s hurdles, says, “My prediction for 2018 is that it will be similar to 2017; hopefully, we’ll have another good year.”
Image: David Litman, vincent noel, KucherAV/Shutterstock.com