Friday, April 3, 2020

Safe Food

We fully understand that many people are tired of hearing about Covid-19 and the pandemic.  We get it - you don't want to hear one more explanation of how another organization or business or... whatever... is working to deal with the situation.  But, we also want you to pay a little bit of attention so you understand why our farm (and other farms like ours) will continue to be safe options to acquire healthy food for your consumption - pandemic or not.

Our Farm Has Your Health in Mind
We sell all of our product locally.  Most of what we sell is direct to consumer and that which isn't is sold to local restaurants, schools and nursing homes.  If we can't sell it, it goes to the food bank that serves people locally.  It only makes sense that we would want to be sure that the food we provide is safe for human consumption.  First, we really do NOT want to cause anyone harm because - well -  we just don't because that's who we are.  Second, practical business sense dictates that we should take this responsibility seriously because our customer base is so close to us and close to each other.  And, third, it's just the right thing to do (isn't that what I said in the first item?).

We have gone through the grower training for food safety and have the certificate to prove it!  That said, it was good to see that there was very little we had to adjust on our farm after we went through the training.  There are always improvements to any farm, but we were already in good standing before the training.  And, of course, we have additional plans to continue to improve how we deal with food safety because we are always trying to get better at what we do.

Food Safety Is A Good Start to Deal with Covid-19
We wash hands regularly and well.  We clean containers.  We clean surfaces.  You get the idea.  These are all part of the processes that are necessary to help keep viral infections from spreading.  The processes are in place and we intend to keep using and improving them.

Organic Certification Supports Farm Systems that are Good for Public Health

Our farm has been certified organic since 2007.  Every year we submit a farm plan that is reviewed against the National Organic Program (NOP) standards.  Every year our farm is inspected.  Each year, the inspector leaves happy.

That is good for us.  But, what is good for you is that certified organic farms are required to track crops/livestock in such a way that it promotes food safety and public health.  In the end, I see organic certification as a reward for trying to pay better attention to how we do things on our farm.  Organic certification promotes the idea that a farm should carefully consider its impact on the well-being of the environment, the community and the farm itself.

Additional Steps Our Farm is Taking During the Pandemic
The awareness our food safety training and organic certification leads us to consider additional steps we should take in light of the current pandemic.  We are fully aware that we become a possible vector for transmission during our deliveries.  If person A has a virus and hands us something that might be contaminated and we then hand something to person B (and C and D) we could very well cause a problem.  Some of our customers fall in high-risk categories for one reason or another and we are concerned for their (and all of our customers') health.

Direct to Consumer Changes at Genuine Faux Farm until further notice:
  1. We will not accept money directly, nor will we give change.  We will accept payments via the mail or via Paypal.
  2. During egg/off-season deliveries, we will place your order into your trunk or tailgate, etc.  so you can stay in your vehicle. 
  3. As we get into the veggie season, we will not have the market style layout for selecting produce.  Instead, we will have your order in one of our tubs.  Your tub will be set out for you to remove product and place it in your container.  The tub will then be placed in a 'used container' pile.
  4. We will wash/santize our hands during deliveries.  However, the biggest effort will be in not making contact with things brought in from 'outside' of our farm during a delivery.
  5. We will not accept used egg cartons and other re-usable containers until further notice.  Please hold on to them for a later point in time.
  6. If you must give us something during a delivery, we will ask you to place it in the cab of our truck so we do not handle it until after the delivery is completed.
  7. If you need a delivery, please let us know.  We will happily make arrangements as we are able.
  8. And, yes, if you are outside during a delivery, please maintain your distance (6 feet) from us and from others who have come to pick up product.
Bulk Product Delivery Changes at GFF until further notice:
  1.  These should be minimal as we follow standard food safety protocol.
  2. Adjustments will be made on a case by case basis.
Thank you for paying attention to your health, our health and the health of others who also patronize our farm!

Rob & Tammy Faux
Genuine Faux Farm

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