On Wednesday, June 7th, the Roots Program held a gathering for O'ahu farm partners to discuss the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). New regulations, designed for industrial agriculture, will be implemented nation-wide over the coming years, and here at Roots we're very aware of the stress and uncertainty this has created for our small farm partners. To help alleviate some of these fears, Roots has partnered with Frederick Reppun (UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources) and A-dae Romero-Briones (a food and agriculture legal consultant), to distill this complex new legislation into a "need-to-know" packet for smaller-scale farmers. Of particular interest for our partners is our simplified content on partial and complete exemptions - some small farms may discover that the new FSMA regulations don't apply to them.
After months of work exploring the FSMA content, we were pleased to meet up with some of our farm partners last Wednesday to share what we've learned about FSMA as well as general food safety best practices, answer questions, and create a forum for farmers to share their concerns and experiences. We were also able to share the information we gathering from a "buyers' survey" we conducted: interviews with grocery stores and other resale venues about what their expectations are for producers, post-FSMA, and any possible relevant changes to their purchasing processes and standards.
The event went great! Partners from all over the island came to eat ono food prepared with produce from their own farms, learn with us, and share their experiences. We're so happy that we were able transform this intimidating piece of legislation into an opportunity to connect with, support, and be supported by our neighbors.
Are you a small-scale farmer, feeling like you missed out on this event? Join us for encores throughout the summer.
July Food Safety Gathering: date and location to be determined
August Food Safety Gathering: August 11th, Mohala Farms, North Shore
Please email the event organizer, Lilian Kong, at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.
Food Safety Dinner and Talk Story Session
Brown Rice with Oven-toasted Chaya Nori
Kolea Farm chaya
2 Lady Farmers ground pork, Friends with Farms okra and eggplant
Sauteed Local Fish with Steamed Kalo Pa'a
Paco's Wholesale Fish ahi
'Aina Salad with Beet and Radish Matchsticks
Ho'oulu 'Aina greens, Kameula produce lettuce, Friends with Farms beets, Kolea Farm radish
Spiced Ginger-Olena Cake with Jackfruit Icing
Waianu Farm ginger, Ho'oulu 'Aina olena, Palolo Valley jackfruit
Waianu Farm ginger