U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced plans to provide up to $200 million in assistance for specialty crop producers for food safety expenses this week. The funds will help growers who incur eligible on-farm food safety expenses to obtain or renew a food safety certification in 2022 or 2023.

Vilsack said that ongoing pandemic-related challenges had posed especially burdensome financial challenges on specialty crop markets. USDA’s effort to mitigate the costs of on-farm food safety certification supports fair, transparent food systems while providing small-scale producers an opportunity for a more significant profit.

Read more on the new USDA program to support specialty crop producers here.