essential

Farmers and Other Essential Food Production Workers will Carry Permission Letters during COVID-19 Shutdown

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Sugar

(U.S. Sugar) — All U.S. Sugar employees and suppliers who have been deemed essential to the nation’s food supply and national security will begin carrying authorization letters to inform authorities that they are approved to be out of their homes and working. “Our farmers, workers and other essential food production vendors will continue working around the clock to keep safe, …

covid

COVID-19 Update for Growers and Packers

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release

(UF/IFAS) — The CDC, FDA and USDA all agree “Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19”, including imported foods and materials. FDA has issued guidance that if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 they “do not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or be withdrawn from the market”. Citrus growers, harvesters, packers, …

state department

State Department Clears the Way for Agriculture Workforce

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Labor

(AFBF) — The U.S. State Department revised its restrictions on the processing of visa applications submitted by farm workers in Mexico after hearing concerns that the restrictions would lead to a farm worker shortage in the Unites States. Consular officers can now waive the visa interview requirement for eligible first-time and returning H-2A and H-2B applicants, making more workers in the …

pesticide

UF/IFAS and FDACS Working to Bring Pesticide Licensing Online

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Pests

(UF/IFAS) — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are working to identify ways to provide online testing for certified pesticide applicators while in-person testing is unavailable due to COVID-19. All in-person UF/IFAS Extension programs and activities, including pesticide testing, have been postponed or cancelled through …

field hearings

Public Field Hearings in Florida and Georgia on Seasonal and Perishable Produce Postponed

Dan Cooper Agri-business, Florida, Food Safety, General, Georgia, Industry News Release, Leafy Vegetables, Organic, Produce

(USTR) — Consistent with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the field hearings scheduled in Florida and Georgia on April 7 and April 9 by the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date. Interested parties are still encouraged to submit written comments and information …

coronavirus

Coronavirus and Consumer Food-Buying Trends

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Top Posts

(CFI) — Isolation and social distancing brought on by COVID-19, or coronavirus, are causing unprecedented changes in consumer behavior, according to The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) Consumer Trust Insights Council (CTIC), which brings together food industry thought leaders and social scientists to explore emerging trends. How the food system adapts to these changes is critical.   “Buying patterns have shifted dramatically …

hemp

Ask the Expert: A Hemp Crop Insurance Q & A

Dan Cooper Hemp, Industry News Release

(USDA) — Ask the Expert is a new series launching on farmers.gov. In this Ask the Expert, Andrew Kowalski answers a few questions about how farmers can use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) hemp pilot program to insure their hemp crop. Kowalski is a risk management specialist with the Risk Management Agency (RMA) based in …

trade

Public Field Hearings on Foreign Trade Policies and Produce

Dan Cooper Florida, Georgia, Industry News Release, Produce, Trade

(FBGA) — The Office of the United States Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Commerce will hold public hearings in Florida (April 7) and Georgia (April 9) to discuss foreign trade policies that may be harming American growers of seasonal and perishable produce.  At the hearings, officials from the federal agencies will hear …