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Georgia Grown Symposium Provided Insurance, Marketing Tips

 

By: GFB News
11/15/2012 1:49:23 PM

 

Attendees at the first Georgia Grown Symposium received information about insuring their business, ways to market their products to grocery store chains and complying with government food safety regulations.

Approximately 150 people registered for the event, which was held Nov. 8 and 9 in Macon and offered seminars on more than 20 topics related to agriculture and agribusinesses, ranging from insurance considerations to marketing techniques, farm-to-school efforts and regulatory issues.

"We've been looking for any number of ways that we can add value to the Georgia Grown program for our members," said Georgia Department of Agriculture Chief Operating Officer Billy Skaggs. "We're trying to develop that brand, and the idea behind the symposium was to offer some continuing education, offer some training for our members, those folks who are farmers, food processors and agribusiness."

Georgia Farm Bureau District 4 Field Underwriter Chris Caldwell provided key insurance considerations for farmers, including property, premise liability and farm liability.

Caldwell urged farmers to become familiar with what coverage they need and what is covered by their current policy. He also encouraged regular reviews with their agents, noting that as farm operations evolve over time, insurance needs also evolve.

"We want to make sure that we insure them properly," Caldwell said. "And if we don't have the ability to insure them properly, we want to make sure we point them in the right direction."

Harveys Supermarkets Center Store Manager Michael Purvis shared ways growers can enhance their chances of getting their products onto the shelves in the supermarket. Purvis recommended that they make sure they have adequate supply capabilities, that their product has relevance to the supermarket chain, that they have a marketing/promotional plan and that they seek partnerships to help promote and sell their products.

Oscar Garrison, director of the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Division said the division is moving to a risk-based inspection approach. In determining which operations to inspect, inspectors will assess what is produced, how much is produced, what preventive controls are in place and the compliance history. Garrison noted that once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rolls out its food safety rules for farms, his division and farmers alike will have to be educated on what will be required for compliance. For more information about the Food Safety Division and guidelines on food safety requirements for businesses, visit http://agr.georgia.gov/food-safety-division.aspx.

 

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