This is Travis at Red Bird Mission. I attended the Eastern Kentucky Farmer Conference (EKFC) on February 22nd and 23rd. Where I learned a lot about taking care of my crops, having a good partner, learned more about value added products and what kind of certifications you need for different types of value added products.
I attended the Produce Best Practices Training (PBPT) on February 27th, obtaining my certification which allows me to give out samples at the Farmers Market. Here is some info on the Produce Best Practices Training (PBPT). PBPT directly replaces the GAP Training/Education program introduced in 2008 that more than 5,000 KY producers have completed. Renamed to help alleviate confusion between GAP Certificates and Third Party GAP Audits and Tobacco GAP. Revised to educate about FSMA requirements and the latest on produce safety. It is the new basic training requirement for All Samples certificate from KDA, given to you by the local Extension Office.
I also organized a group of Grow Appalachia members and myself to attend a Homebased Micro-processing Workshop (HBM), where 9 of us successfully obtained our Homebased Micro-processing certificates on March 2nd. This work shop allows us to produce our own value added products and sell them at our farmers market. Here is a little info on Homebased Micro-processing and the difference between Homebased Processor and Homebased Microprocessor. Homebased Processors may produce and sell low risk products such as dried fruits and vegetables, dried or fresh herbs, nuts, fruit jams & jellies, preserves, fruit butters, maple syrup, sorghum, and baked goods provided they contain a fruit, vegetable, nut or herb grown by the processor. There is no fee associated with becoming a Homebased Processor and no workshop attendance or recipe approval is required. However, Homebased Processors must register each year with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Food Safety Branch, submit verification of an approved water source, and follow labeling requirements. Homebased Micro-processors may sell higher risk products such as canned tomatoes, pickled fruits and vegetables, salsas, barbecue sauce, pepper or herb jellies, herbal vinegar’s, low- or no-sugar jams and jellies, and pressure-canned vegetables. to become a certified Homebased Micro-processor you must first attend a Homebased Micro-processing Workshop (HBM). The work shop costs $50. Then, recipes for all products to be sold under the program must be submitted to the University of Kentucky for approval, at a fee of $5.00 per recipe. The next step would be to get your water tested. For most folks in my area are mostly on well water, you can get it tested at your local county Health Department. If you have city water you should be okay, but I would get it tested anyway. Proof of workshop completion, approved recipes, draft labels for all products, and verification of an approved water source are then attached to the application for HBM certification and sent to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Food Safety Branch, along with a $50.00 certification fee.
Homebased Micro-processing Workshop
Some information from this blog came from: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/homebased_processing_microprocessing