Inspections on a Shoestring by fjwuxn


									Bernadette Martin
Market Manager
Kennedy Plaza Farmer’s Market

                 Farm Inspections on a Shoestring
                     Certified Locally Grown
        Why develop a farm inspection
         program for your market?
•If you participate in the FMNP you are responsible to guarantee at least
50% of the fruit and vegetables in your market are from bona-fide
• Market Integrity. You want to protect your market share and maintain
quality standards and assurance.
•Food Safety and Contamination: We live in an age of Swine Flu,
Salmonella, and Franken-food aka GMO’s and yes they are being grown
right here
•Preferential treatment from Municipalities, discounted permits and fees.
•Mission driven program
•Consumer awareness
         Federation Resources
There is great information contained on the
  Federation’s website. You should check out:
• Market Managers Checklist of Permits, Licenses &
  Certificates required for farmers markets
• Agricultural Law Research Article on Rules,
  Regulations and Opportunities
• Guide to developing a Community Farmers
  Market (good rules and regulations)
• Greenmarket’s Inspection Program presentation
  from the 2009 conference.
• It is very important to gain rapport with the
  producer. Be respectful.
• Learn to listen and be present
• Ask a lot of questions, even the very obvious ones
• Sensitivity to confidentiality and integrity
• Avoid situations of conflict of interest
• Inspect to the standard you will lose rapport
  quickly if you do otherwise
            Keep it simple
      Who may sell at your market?
• Have a look at your standards or regulations: the
  level of producer only will determine how you
  proceed. If your regulations are very stringent
  then you will need to collect a lot of information.
• If producers are allowed to purchase and carry
  items at market, you might want to have a way
  to track that.
• Do you allow cooperatives to sell at market?
• Are there non-farm based producers at your
  market and what standard do they need to
  adhere to? What about processed foods?
     This is really important stuff
• Have a detailed crop/product plan submitted at
  the start of each season, including farm maps,
  lease agreements.
• Make sure it lists products, availability dates and
  acreage. You might liken this to the farm having a
  business plan, and this is just a good business
• You actually will use this information for
  advertising purposes, so try to help the producer
  to see the benefit here, you may get more
     Pull those crop plans out of the file
             cabinet on occasion
What do you do if you suspect a problem? You could:
• Inventory a producer at market. If there is a problem you need the paper trail, but it takes
   some time. If you are like me, a lone Market Manager, you may not have that time available.
• Keep a copy of the crop plans at market. I keep my mine in a plastic file holder in my truck. If
   I have any question, that is were I go first to ensure that the producer has what they said they
   would have when they said they would have it. I also keep files for all of the producers
   license’s and such in the case of an spot Inspection by a State Official.
• Most violations are discovered at market. Make note of your observations and date them on
   your copy if there are discrepancies. Leave the originals in your office so you can make
   copies if you need to.
•   Now if you would like to have a conversation with a producer about a product that has
   shown up at your market before its time, or whatever the case maybe , you have some
   information. This does not require any agricultural experience, it does however require good
   observation, and communication skills.
• Write down the outcome or the answers you were given.
• If you are not satisfied and would like more information it would be a good time to schedule
   a visit.
Take a deep breath
    It really helps
               Planning your trip
• Call at least a day in advance to schedule. Let the
  producer know the amount of time you might need, 2-
  3 hours, and what you will need to see when you
  arrive. That includes receipts for seed, feed bills, lease
  agreements, milk reports, etc.
• Give yourself an hour block for arrival time, i.e
  between 8 am and 9 am, be respectful of the
  producers time, they are busy people.
• Dress appropriately- boots, rain-gear, etc. secure loose
  jewelry, or clothing, tie hair back
• Review the Crop Plan before you arrive, make a list of
  questions, and highlight what you need to see.
       Now don’t forget to bring
• Producer’s file: directions, crop plan-
  questions, licenses, maps, processing facilities.
  Any history of prior issues of concern.
• Copy of your rules and regulations- be very
  familiar with them.
• Clipboard, pens, cellular phone, camera,
  writing pad.
• Confidentiality agreement
• Receipt book, 2-3 part
   Check it out- You’ll want to see
• On farm: Fields, Greenhouses, storage,
  refrigeration, box trucks, vehicles, tractors
  equipment, staging areas, barns.
• Verify the crop plan. You will either be checking
  things off or writing feverishly as you go.
• For drive-thru inspections, which most are, you’ll
  want to get out of the truck and get a good look if
  you are unsure or if you just need to slow it down
  a bit. Ask if you can take photos, do not assume
  that you can, unless your regulations allow it
• Owned or leased? Are crops contiguous to
  neighboring farms?
• Size of fields, acreage, row length and spacing.
• Cover cropping practices
• Soil type, sandy loam, black dirt, slope, etc.
• compost
• Irrigation, ponds, pumps, drip tape, overhead
• Season extenders, hoop houses and row cover
•   Planting schedules and staggering
•   Methods of production
•   Varieties
•   Weed control
•   Pest management
•   Availability dates
•   Weather: rain, drought, flooding, signs of frost or
    hale damage.
• Seedlings, start ups, plugs, cuttings, bare root
  ornamentals, records of seeding dates.
• Soil: you should see bags around or compost
  pile, labels, seeding machines, pot filler
  machine, soil amendments, plastic sleeves and
• In ground production, hydroponics, rolling
  benches, hanging baskets, irrigation.
• Check off plant varieties and record quantities.
       Orchards and Fruit Trees
• Acreage, row length, # of trees per row, how
  old are they, varieties.
• Pruning practices, spray rigs, records, IPM
• Losses due to weather, frost, hale, etc.
• Labor who picks the fruit
• Storage
• Pick sheets, records
• Anything used to plant, cultivate, spray,
  harvest or water.
• Vegetable wash station, salad spinners
• Chemicals
• Fertilizers
                 Staging area
              Packing and storage
•   Packing line
•   Empty boxes, crates, bins, buckets
•   Refrigerators, coolers, chest freezers
•   Labels
•   Storage areas
•   Take an inventory of everything in storage
•   Off site storage or processors (i.e. cider)
                 % of sales
• What % of production does your market
  represent to the farmer?
• Wholesale
• Other markets
• Restaurants
• Get details of the scope of the operation
• Pick one item to trace back to it’s source
• Ask for receipts
• Pick sheets, these are usually used to load up
  for market, or inventories
• Logs or log books
• Harvest records for specific crops
• Record your findings
• Purchase receipts
• Feed receipts
• Vet bills
• Slaughter receipts, storage and availability
• Inventory of what is in the freezer and what is
  on the hoof
• Record your findings
               Ocean Fishers
• Log of coordinates where and when they have
• Receipts from cutters, processors, smokehouses,
  gasoline, etc.
• Harvest logs, species
• Fisheries will show receipts of purchased fish
  which stock their ponds
• HACCP Plans
• Record your findings
• Assess the outcome
            Evaluating Yields
• Pay attention to the weather
• Limiting factors
• Weed pressure
• Overall care of the farm
• Organization
• Consult with crop insurance agents in your
• Cooperative extension
                Exit interview
• Areas of concern: let the producer know if you if
  you have any
• Give the producer the opportunity to satisfy your
  questions or to show you why your complaints
  are in error.
• If you are not satisfied, write it up in your receipt
  book and give the producer a copy so there is no
  discrepancy. Include the regulation that is being
• Inform the producer that there may be a violation
         Violation Procedures
• Report back to your Board of Directors or
  supervisor. Keep it confidential
• Create a deliberation plan, and what the
  eventualities for a guilty finding might be
• Give the producer the opportunity to clear up
  the issue
• Pass judgment, impose penalty if necessary
    Writing an inspection report
• Create an outline or format that you are
  comfortable with, it might be a checklist
• Is important for record keeping and for
  provides valuable information to managers
  that may come after you
• It is a legal document
• See the templates provided
•   Federation resources
•   Know your markets regulations
•   Review the Crop Plan
•   Scheduling
•   On site verification of the Crop Plan
•   Audit
•   Exit interview and possible areas of concern
•   Reporting
•   Violation procedures
   Questions or comments?
      Bernadette Martin
Kennedy Plaza Farmer’s Market

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