Food safety certifications for Massachusetts farms

Michael Botelho coordinater, MA Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP) and Lynn Reading of Billingsgate Farm in Bryantville, MA

Michael Botelho coordinates the MA Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP), working with growers and producers across Massachusetts. Lynn Reading said Billingsgate Farm in Bryantville, MA goes the extra mile for customers; they produce “the safest products out there.”

Institutions like hospitals, universities, colleges and other wholesale accounts want to bring fresh products to their staff, patients and students. Farms with food safety certifications are chosen as suppliers to reduce the buyers’ liability. Farms can be competitive in this wholesale market by seeking and maintaining food safety certification.

Growers and producers in Massachusetts have at least two certifications available to help them market their produce, forestry, lobster and aquaculture products:  Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP) From the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)[more]

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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