GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Farmers markets have been growing in popularity throughout the last decade as consumers discover the benefits of buying farm-fresh food directly from small-scale, local growers. However, increasing popularity has also raised food safety concerns for produce sold at those markets.
On Monday, November 9th, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is hosting a food safety and market-growth seminar for farmers’ market managers and vendors, to help insure quality produce is sold and managers know how to expand their business. It is scheduled for 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center in Gainesville.
In Florida, more than 230 farmers’ markets are currently operating, and that number continues to rise.
“This one-day workshop is intended to provide the farmers’ market managers and vendors with the latest information on food safety issues, guidelines for food safety, and state regulatory requirements for cottage food products sold at farmers’ markets,” said Soohyoun Ahn, an assistant professor of food science “The workshop will also provide useful information on farmers’ market consumer trends and marketing tools for Florida farmers’ markets.”
Keith Schneider, UF/IFAS – Farmers’ Market Food Safety 101
Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS – Safety Guidelines for Growers and Vendors of Farmers’ Markets
Amy Simonne, UF/IFAS – Safety Guidelines for Consumers of Farmers’ Markets
Marilyn Swisher, UF/IFAS – Farmers’ Markets: What Matters Most to the Customers?
Jose Rodriguez, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Marketing Programs for the Florida Farmers Markets
Sharon Yeago of Sharon L. Yeago, LLC – Multiple Payment Options for Farmers Markets/EBT/SNAP
Cleone Cooper, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Farmers Market Operation: How to Ensure Products Are in Compliance
Registration is $40 before Oct. 31 and $50 afterwards. The course is limited to the first 35 people who register at http://tinyurl.com/FarmersMarketFoodSafety
By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, 352-294-3302, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Soohyoun Ahn, 352-294-3909, email@example.com