After his vocational school education, he trained as a woodwork teacher in a college in County Wexford. Upon release, he was interned in the Curragh. On recovery he received an eight-year sentence and remained in Belfast Prison until he was released unconditionally in September Winning 1, first preference votes a share of 5.
After working with Congress to get comprehensive food safety legislation in the pipeline, the Produce Marketing Association joined 19 other big produce interest groups last week to oppose S. Jon Tester D-MT to exempt small farmers and producers under certain circumstances.
I know your members include the big players in the produce industry, but does PMA have small producer members who have been concerned about the pending food safety bill? PMA has over 3, members worldwide, so we represent the entire supply chain—that can be anybody from a small grower up to a large retailer or food service organization, and everybody in between.
We have small growers, large growers, processors, transportation people, retailers, distributors, harvesters, you name it. PMA has obviously been very engaged on the food safety bill, have you been actively working with staff on the Hill to express your views to the Tester-Hagan amendment from the get go?
We were disappointed last week when the Tester amendment basically stayed intact and made exemptions possible. Are you more worried about the economic consequences—if one small tomato grower has a problem, it could impact everyone—or do you think that the growing number of small farms is actually an increasing public health risk?
But the overwhelming response we get from growers after these trainings is: Do you think that between the trade associations and university extension programs, the infrastructure exists to provide the training necessary for small growers to get support putting food safety programs together?
I think there are a number of resources out there that are available to retail growers and smaller growers. You do have the trade associations, but more important than that you have the agriculture extension services at land grant colleges, you have regional and commodity groups, so you have smaller associations that might represent Washington apples, or the leafy green growers and shippers in Salinas, or the tomatoes in Florida—many of them in one fashion or another have offered food safety training programs or educational sessions.
You also have third-party providers that can help with training programs. There are a lot of online tutorials to help you work through personalized risk-assessments and best practices.
Even with support from the resources you mentioned, it will take man hours and sometimes changing practices to comply with the new regulations, a lot of the concerns I hear from farmers are centered on cost and time … some of the very small business owners think this will put them under.
In your experience working with smaller growers, have you seen some positive transitions? Are the costs prohibitive?
You hear costs a lot. One thing you have to say up front, when you look at this, is that there are a lot of very small growers who are already doing this. I think there is plenty of evidence where growers have already made this a priority and they have been able to do so in a pretty innovative manner.
There is a cost to this, there is no doubt about that. A lot of this is common sense. Food safety costs are scalable. You can do a third-party verification audit for as little as a few hundred dollars. People need to dive in and understand that this is food and you have to take responsibility for the safety of our food, to the extent that you can.
What about the argument that locally sold food presents a much lower risk to consumers? If something goes wrong, it will be contained to relatively small region and to a relatively small number of consumers… A: I look at that a couple different ways.
Number one, everybody in agriculture understands that all production is local to someplace, and all production is fairly small. If you look at some of these larger grower-shippers, they are basically kind of accumulation points for small farmers that contribute into that grower-shipper and provide product.
I would say that the least common denominator for our industry is a small farm.El Seductor, Carly Phillips X Keijutsukai Aikido - Japanese Art of Self-Defense, Thomas H. Makiyama Novela Aventura, Autores Varios, Graciela Guido X Beacon Lights of History - Volume I (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press), John Lord Shrink Art Jewellery, Karen .
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