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Food Quality Services
Food Quality Services inspects fruit and vegetable products at receiving warehouses when requested. The Food Quality Services’ inspectors inspect produce to USDA standards as to grade and condition at the applicant’s request.
The benefit of Food Quality Services is the Louisiana consumer gets the freshest fruits and vegetables possible.
The Food Quality Services program also inspects fruits and vegetables purchased by state institutions and school systems. These inspections are on a voluntary basis and performed at vendor sites across the state.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) Audit Services
The Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry, in collaboration with USDA, provides fresh produce farmers, packing facilities and distribution centers in Louisiana with basic Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) audits, as well as, GAPs Harmonized audits (with or without the Global addendum). GAP audits are a voluntary for hire service that certifies a producer’s efforts to provide safe, quality product free from contamination to the consumer. For more information or to schedule an audit, contact Audrey Carrier at our Hammond office at 985-543-4024 or email. The USDA has a number of resources available ONLINE including: GAP certified list of farms and commodities; audit checklists; and Audit Request Form.
In September, 2016 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF) a five-year grant to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. FSMA is the most comprehensive reform of food safety laws in the United States in over 70 years. FSMA was signed into law in January 2011 and aims to create an integrated food safety system that can reduce foodborne illnesses. The Produce Safety Rule is one of seven rules created by FSMA. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. Key components of the Produce Safety Rule include water quality, application of biological soil amendments, health and hygiene training for farm personnel, and sanitation of equipment, tools, and buildings.
LDAF is currently developing a produce safety program for the state of Louisiana. This program will be designed to encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables in the state. LDAF is also working with the LSU Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus to ensure that all produce growers in the state are informed and educated on how the Produce Safety Rule impacts them. In order to successfully implement the Produce Safety Rule in Louisiana, LDAF needs to build a complete list of produce growers in Louisiana. To learn more about the program, CLICK HERE.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Federal & State Meat Programs, authorized by the Meat & Poultry Inspection Law (RS 3:4201), ensures the wholesomeness and safety of meat slaughtered and processed in Louisiana.
The LDAF Grading and Certification program ensures the meat, poultry, and seafood products received by state institutions and schools are wholesome and of the highest quality.
All grading and certification is performed by Louisiana Department of Agriculture (LDAF) meat and poultry inspectors.
Louisiana Dairy Producers Refundable Tax Credit Program
Created by ACT 461 of the 2007 Louisiana Legislature, this income tax credit is a direct dollar for dollar reduction against dairy producers’ income tax for the taxable year that is filed with the state.
The total amount of the tax credit that may be given to Louisiana milk producers is limited to $2.5 million dollars per year. Louisiana dairymen may be eligible to receive tax credits ranging from $5,000.00 to $30,000.00. The amount of tax credit is based upon the total claims made to the $2.5 million dollar cap allotment, milk production during the year, milk prices, production costs, and the number of quarters in a year that the USDA Uniform Price drops below the announced production price.
Through the combined efforts of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, LSU AgCenter, Department of Health and Hospitals, and the Federal Milk Market Administrator for Federal Milk Order #7, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry will then determine the amount of tax credit that will be administered to producers.