This document is strictly for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney/client relationship.
This worksheet is intended to assist in the development of an inventory of resources available to beginning farmers and ranchers, individual food producers, and agricultural entrepreneurs.
In order to accurately evaluate the regulatory compliance measures and industry standards applicable to any agricultural operation, information about the enterprise and available guidance materials should be compiled and reviewed for more complete decision-making and for adjusting business practices as necessary.
By reviewing resources and articulating goals, producers will be able to analyze the information applicable to their operation and then prioritize the order in which they wish to achieve compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements surrounding:
- Revenue Generation
- Accessing New Markets
- Supplying to Consumers in Venues with Certain Requirements
- Record-keeping Methods
- Equipment Purchase and/or Modification
- Capital Project Design and/or Construction
Applicable Industry Standards and Regulatory Requirements:
- Food Safety Modernization Act
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
- Good Agricultural Practices Certification
- Model Food Code (Retail)
- Cottage Food Laws
- Commodities Produced
List the commodities produced and/or processed by your operation that are intended for human consumption and the current markets (by location and type) that each commodity is sold into for human consumption.
Will these products be sold as-is, or undergo additional preparation steps before reaching the end consumer? If known, list the applicable processing and/or packaging methods (e.g., canning, cooking, etc.), by commodity, that each product will undergo before reaching the end consumer. Additional, include how far each product must travel before reaching its end market (if known).
Have you sold any of these commodities before? If so, include the U.S. dollar amount of each commodity sold in the last three calendar years. This is important certain because sales thresholds trigger certain compliance requirements.
Will this product be sold across multiple state and/or tribal jurisdictions?If so, list each jurisdiction in which this product will be sold.
Does your operation already have a practice for keeping record logs of food safety practices? If so, list the types of records kept and the format in which they are stored.
Points of Sale
Do you intend to sell your products (or already sell them) to a specialty vendor or a large-scale vendor? If so, list each point of sale (e.g., farmer’s markets, retailers, etc.).
Potential Partners and/or Mentors
Do you know a producer and/or processor who has sold a similar product into a market you are seeking to enter? If so, list all possible individuals from whose experience you can possibly learn as you start or grow your food business.