Small-scale farms growing food for local communities represent a vitally important way to increase healthy food access for low-income families, improve the food environment, and contribute to community economic vitality through sustainable food production. Unfortunately, these farms currently face a dangerous paradox: even as demand for locally produced healthy foods increases, impending federal food safety regulations pose a threat not only to small farms’ ability to meet the demand, but to sustain their businesses into the future. The Food Safety Modernization Act will likely require stricter food safety standards for small and large farms alike.
Our team aims to deliver a simple data collection and reporting toolset enabling farmers to meet the new stringent GHP/GAP protocols. The system will comprise a web application where farmers can sign up and grant access to their employees and partners, as well as a companion mobile application through which farm and food safety data can be captured and uploaded. By using our custom, cross-platform app on their mobile devices, farmers and employees with appropriate access will be able to collect requisite data while engaged in daily farming activities through a suite of data collection options tailored to their operations.