Food Safety Audit Cost-share and Consulting Program

​Purdue University and the Illiana Watermelon Association (IWA) are offering food safety audit cost-share programs to Indiana fruit and vegetable growers this year. Funds for the programs come from a grant from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture through the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. Through the Purdue program, Indiana fruit or vegetable growers who receive passing scores on their third party food safety audits are eligible for reimbursement of 40% of their audit cost, up to a maximum of $400 per farm. Through the Illiana Watermelon Association program IWA members may receive reimbursement for 75% of an audit cost (up to  $1,500) if a preferred audit-provider is used, or 60% (up to $1,200) if a non-preferred provider is used. Producers of any fruit or vegetable wishing to take advantage of the IWA program may join the IWA. To apply for cost-sharing, complete and return the appropriate application by July 1. Applications for both cost-share programs are included in the hard copy of this newsletter, The Purdue application may be downloaded here, or filled out online at tinyurl.com/audit-cost-share. The IWA application is available here. Producers may receive reimbursement from only one of the programs. To receive reimbursement, documentation of audit results and cost must be submitted to Purdue or IWA after the audit is complete.  The program also provides the opportunity for growers to have a walk-through of their farm with a private food safety consultant contracted by Purdue. The private food safety consultant may also address specific farm and packinghouse food safety questions and issues. This opportunity is open to any grower, whether or not they participate in either audit cost-share program. To request a consultant visit, use the application for the Purdue cost-share program and return by July 1.  For more information, contact Scott Monroe at 812-886-0198 (office) or 765-427-9910 (cell).

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