aquaculture

The Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP) supports agricultural operations that are looking to upgrade their food safety measures and thereby maintain or increase their competitive market access while reducing food safety risks.  Participants selected to participate in the program will be reimbursed up to $20,000 or 75% of their total project costs.  

AFSIP will fund practices that help minimize the risk of microbial contamination and food-borne illnesses.  In addition, eligible upgrades will increase competitive market access by meeting buyer demands for demonstrated practices that work towards protecting public health and food safety. 

Projects will be broken into a produce category and an aquaculture category.  Some examples of projects in the produce category include wildlife fencing, packing shed walls, ceilings and light fixtures, field harvest systems, hand washing sinks, restrooms, drainage systems, and water systems.  Some examples of projects in the aquaculture category include ice machines, harvest gear, and testing/monitoring equipment. 

Eligibility and Applying

To be eligible for funding the applicant must be in good standing with the Department and other local and state regulatory agencies.  Additional consideration will be offered to applicants who are participants in the Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP), are currently audited under a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certifier, or are covered under the Commonwealth’s Vibrio Management Plan for aquaculture. There is no minimum size requirement; however, projects that address significant food safety concerns are more likely to receive funding. 

The application period is now open.  If interested in applying, please complete application and return with any supporting documentation by the August 20th, 2014 deadline.