The Commodities Branch is designed to assist in the development of agricultural industries through quality assurance of agricultural commodities; licensing of dealers in agricultural products; and milk producer price and quota control to maintain stability within the dairy industry.
NEW FOOD SAFETY RULES ANNOUNCED BY FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced proposed new rules on food safety on January 4, 2013. Public comments to FDA are welcome up to 120 days from the announcement.
To view the FDA news release announcing the new rules, click here: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm334156.htm
To link directly to the rules, go to:
- Federal Register Notice for the Proposed Rule “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food”
- Federal Register Notice for the Proposed Rule “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption”
**UPDATED INFO – March 28, 2013
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the release of updated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety and Preventive Control Proposed Rules.
These updated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers can be accessed at the website links provided below:
Questions & Answers on the Preventive Controls Proposed Rule
Questions & Answers on the Produce Safety Proposed Rule
For more information on FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, visit http://www.fda.gov/fsma.
FOOD SAFETY CERTIFICATION SERVICE
The Food Safety Certification Service provides an unbiased professional service-for-fee for USDA and Primuslabs audits. The types of audits provided for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) includes farm, greenhouse and harvest crew. Facility Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) audits include cooler/cold storage, packinghouse with or without Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), processing with or without HACCP and Storage & Distribution Centers.
- Primuslabs Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
- USDA Plant System Audits
- Food Safety Information for Consumers
COFFEE BEANS (Green)
- Grade Standards: Hawaii standards for cherry, parchment and green coffee are available online. A one page summary of the green coffee standards in table form is also available online. The Branch administers the use of Federal trademarks for 100% Hawaii green coffee from various locations (Kona, Kauai, Molokai, Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii (statewide).
- Roasted Coffee Labeling: There are no grade standards for roasted coffee. For information on proper retail labeling of roasted coffee, visit this Measurement Standards Branch website.
- Certification: Certification is required for green coffee shipped out of the area of production. Application for Green Coffee Certification form C-4 in PDF format can be downloaded.
- Licensing: A Dealer’s License is required when selling or handling Hawaii-grown agricultural products obtained or purchased directly from a farmer or producer. Rules and an application form and instructions are available online.
- Agricultural Theft: Persons selling or transporting agricultural commodities are required to have proof of ownership, as a deterrent to agricultural theft (Chapter 145 Part II, Hawaii Revised Statutes).
- Grade Standards: Hawaii Egg Standards for shell eggs are available online. Federal Egg Standards are available online through the USDA website.
- Labeling: At retail, egg cartons and containers must be properly grade labeled. HDOA’s Commodities Branch Marketing Specialists check eggs using a high intensity candling light to assure that they are wholesome and meet labeled consumer grade. Eggs are also weighed to check that they meet labeled size. Sale of Shell Eggs at Retail gives a summary of requirements for retail egg sales.
- Egg Origin Marking: Eggs imported from out of state are required to be individually marked (“U.S.” for mainland eggs). Imported eggs are checked by HDOA’s Commodities Branch Marketing Specialists before distribution. See Hawaii Egg Standards for detailed requirements.
SEED CERTIFICATION INSPECTION SERVICE
The Seed Certification Inspection Service provides service for fee inspections for the seed industry. The service involves field and seed inspections to preserve genetic purity and identity. Once seed has been certified, it qualifies for shipment under state, federal and international seed law requirements.
The cost to applicants are: $32.12 per hour and 51 cents per mile
To arrange for seed certification services, call (808) 832-0700.
The Commodities Branch of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) administers laws and rules pertaining to registration, sampling and testing of commercial animal feed for label guarantee and adulteration.
- Commercial animal feed must be properly labeled, free from adulteration, and registered with HDOA’s Commodities Branch. Also, tonnage reports and inspection fees must be forwarded to the department every quarter.
- Information and forms available online: Feed rules, registration forms and instructions; Tonnage reporting forms and instructions and Feed Affidavit form
Link to FDA Safefeed website: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AnimalFeedSafetySystemAFSS/default.htm
FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE
- Grade Standards: Hawaii standards for flowers and foliage are available online.
FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Inspection Service provides unbiased, professional and timely service-for-fee grade and condition inspections at the wholesale level. This section provides federal and state certification for imported and locally produced fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers and foliage. This section also provides enforcement of labeled grade standards at retail and wholesale levels.
- Grade Standards: Hawaii standards for Hawaii-Grown Fresh Fruits and Vegetables are available online. Federal Standards are available online through the USDA website.
- Grade Standards: Hawaii standards for processed products and shelled macadamia nuts are available online. Federal Standards are available online through the USDA website.
- Seafood Inspection: U.S. Department of Commerce seafood inspection / certification is available for a fee. Program information is available on the USDC website.
NATIONAL ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COST-SHARE PROGRAM
(NOTE: This program is now being administered by the Market Development Branch of the Agricultural Development Division)
You may qualify for USDA Organic Certification cost share assistance of up to $750.00. Click here for more information.
To download an informational flyer on agricultural theft laws, click here.
For more information regarding this branch, contact:
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Quality Assurance Division
1851 Auiki Street
Honolulu, HI 96819-3100
Phone: (808) 832-0700
Fax: (808) 832-0683