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North Carolina offers farmers reimbursements for food safety expenses

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Staff Writer |
Steve Troxler
America   Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is providing growers with reimbursement funds for expenses incurred in 2018 related to GAP certification audits and water analysis.

“Food safety is a critical, and often expensive, aspect of any farming operation,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

“That’s why we are so pleased to be able to offer this assistance for North Carolina growers. I encourage all growers to take advantage of these reimbursement opportunities while they are still available.”

As part of the Good Agricultural Practices Certification Assistance Program, the department will reimburse first-time users up to $900 of the cost of having a third-party GAP audit to verify a farm’s food safety program.

Those who have previously participated in the reimbursement program can receive up to $300. Growers how have participated in the program three or more times are no longer eligible.

The Water Analysis Cost Share program encourages water testing as part of a pre- and post-harvest food safety program for fruit and vegetable crops. The program will assist in paying for the cost of testing irrigation and packing house wash water. The NCDA&CS will reimburse growers up to $1,000 for laboratory analysis to determine the quantitative presence of generic E. coli bacteria in irrigation or wash water by a certified laboratory.

Both assistance programs will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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