SB 1195, currently before the Virginia General Assembly, would provide an important, competitive opportunity for large-scale Virginia produce farms that market fruits and vegetables across state lines. Not all Virginia produce farms fall under this regulation.
The bill authorizes the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to carry out the federal Produce Safety Rule, which sets minimum standards for the safe growing and handling of fruits and vegetables for interstate commerce. If SB 1195 passes in the state legislature, Virginia farmers would not have to rely solely on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for education, assistance and compliance. To date 41 other states have entered into cooperative agreements to carry out specifics of the rule, including all but one of Virginia’s neighbor states.
The rule is part of the 2011 federal Food Safety Modernization Act. In the event that the act is repealed, the Produce Safety Rule would no longer apply to the nation’s or Virginia’s farms.
If it stands, however, SB 1195 will allow Virginia farmers to have VDACS as a resource close to home for the 400 Virginia operations that will be covered. For that reason, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation encourages state legislators to support this bill.
Please email members of the House Agriculture Committee and ask them to support this bill on behalf of Virginia’s farmers. Click here: app.muster.com/take-action/u6n9hY81X4/
Wayne F. Pryor, President
Virginia Farm Bureau Federation