Good Fruit Grower

December 2013

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Page 35 of 95

Northwest seeks food safety answers The Center for Produce Safety is seeking scientists to address food safety knowledge gaps in the Northwest. by Geraldine Warner he states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are working with the Center for Produce Safety to fund research that will help Pacific Northwest growers comply with new federal food safety regulations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 and will issue T Deborah Carter standards governing how produce is grown, harvested, packed, and stored. The FDA accepted comments on its proposed regulations until midNovember, and is then expected to take a year to a year and a half to review the comments before issuing the final regulations, according to Debbie Carter, technical issues manager with the Northwest Horticultural Council. The Pacific Northwest Food Safety Research Committee, formed six years ago, has been identifying research that needs to be done to help the industry have a better understanding of what the food safety problems might be relating to tree fruits. For the past three years, the committee has worked with the Center for Produce Safety in Davis, California, which has access to a network of researchers working in food safety and has the expertise to screen proposals and identify which projects merit funding. Four projects have been funded so far. Part of the funding for food safety research has been obtained through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Each state receives a block of money from the federal government to allocate, on a competitive basis, to specialty crop projects within its state. The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and the CPS 36 DECEMBER 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Unlike Any Other Storage/Shipping System In The Industry. •Over the years, I have come to demand a high quality product when purchasing fruit trees. With Willow Drive Nursery, I know that what I am getting not only meets my expectations, but gets my orchard off to a profitable start. With Willow Drive Nursery, I truly believe you get what you pay for…a quality tree and a positive experience. - Brenton Roy, Prosser, WA •Willow Drive's method of storing and shipping trees gets my orchard off to a profitable start. I value the flexibility of planting on my schedule without the added labor of heeling the trees or binning them up. Overall, Willow Drive's system saves me time and money. - Cragg Gilbert, Yakima, WA •Willow Drive saves me money in the long run. I get an excellent size tree that is ready to produce fruit the year I plant it. The way the trees are palletized for me makes planting very efficient because they are well organized and they are easy to move around in the field. - John Verbrugge, Wapato, WA

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