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Produce growers’ cost of complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act

Aaron Adalja and Erik Lichtenberg ()

Food Policy, 2018, vol. 74, issue C, 23-38

Abstract: Small and medium size growers using both conventional and sustainable farming practices have expressed concern that compliance with the Produce Rule implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act will be prohibitively costly. We use data from an original national survey of fruit and vegetable growers to examine that contention. In particular, we analyze how expenditures on food safety practices required by the Produce Rule vary with farm size using a double hurdle model to control for selectivity in both using food safety practices and reporting expenditures. We find that expenditures per acre decrease with farm size. We also find some evidence that growers using sustainable farming practices spend more than conventional growers on many food safety practices. We use our estimates to quantify how the cost burden of compliance varies with farm size. We then explore the policy implications of exemptions to the Rule by simulating how more stringent exemption thresholds for farm revenue and share of direct sales might affect the cost burden of each food safety practice on farms at the threshold.

Keywords: Food safety; Food Safety Modernization Act; Produce Rule; Compliance cost; Regulatory burden; Double hurdle model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:23-38