The FSCSC program provides financial assistance for specialty crop operations that incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years in 2022 or 2023. This program helps offset costs to comply with regulatory requirements and market-driven food safety certification requirements which is part of USDA’s broader effort to transform the food system to create a more level playing field for small and medium producers and a more balanced, equitable economy for everyone working in food and agriculture.
Specialty crop operations can apply for assistance for eligible expenses related to a 2022 food safety certificate issued on or after June 21, 2022, beginning June 27, 2022. USDA is delivering FSCSC to provide critical assistance for specialty crop operations, with an emphasis on equity in program delivery while building on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.
Specialty crop operations may receive assistance for the following costs:
- Developing a food safety plan for first-time food safety certification
- Maintaining or updating an existing food safety plan
- Food safety certification
- Certification upload fees
- Microbiological testing for products, soil amendments, and water
Applicant must be a specialty crop operation; meet the definition of a small business or very small business; and have paid eligible expenses related to the 2022 (issued on or after June 21, 2022) or 2023 certification.
Be a specialty crop operation; and meet the definition of a small business or very small business.
- A small business means an applicant that had an average annual monetary value of specialty crops the applicant sold during the 3-year period preceding the program year of more than $250,000 but not more than $500,000.
- A very small business means an applicant that had an average annual monetary value of specialty crops the applicant sold during the 3-year period preceding the program year of no more than $250,000.
FUNDING AVAILABLE AND APPLICATION WINDOW:
FUNDING AVAILABLE: Estimated Total Program Funding: Up to $200 million
APPLICATION DEADLINE: The FSCSC application period for 2022 is June 27, 2022, through January 31, 2023, and the application period for 2023 will be announced at a later date.