(UF/IFAS) — UF/IFAS Extension is collaborating with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to compile a list of farms, distributors, and farmers markets selling Florida-grown food directly to final consumers. The intention is to build a directory of sellers who are moving Florida-grown foods to consumers during the market disruptions caused by COVID-19. The list may include farms selling directly to consumers, online farmers markets, community food hubs, or food distributors who now are selling directly to households. Information submitted through this form will be made public to help consumers find local and online options for purchasing Florida-grown food. Participation is voluntary. We appreciate you taking the time to complete this form. https://forms.gle/s6Hwfy8miH7VfN3G7
–The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association is also helping in the effort to get Florida produce to consumers and has released the following information:
Tell us the produce you have available for purchase
Is your farm selling produce direct to consumers? If so, FFVA wants to help spread the word.With the current supply-chain disruption, many producers are now selling directly to the public to move their product, and consumers are eager to find out where fresh, local produce is available for purchase.If you or a company you know of is selling product to the public, please email email@example.com as soon as possible with the following information. FFVA will share on social media and on our website.
Address of sales location:
Produce available for sale:
Additionally, to limit losses caused by COVID-19, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is collecting information of agricultural commodities available to be posted on the FDACS website or sent to potential buyers or food banks interested in your commodity. For more information, view or complete the availability form here. Thank you for your dedication and hard work in putting fresh, nutritious American-grown food on the table of consumers. These are unprecedented times, but as always, Florida agriculture is standing together.
-If you are in need of COVID-19 factsheets relating to agricultural workers, to post at your farm or nursery, the following link is to a UF/IFAS blog, and you can find the English and Spanish factsheets there: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/miamidadeco/2020/04/03/coronavirus-workers-safety/. It is very important that workers adhere to the social distancing and hygiene recommendations set forth by the CDC as much as possible, to help slow the spread of the virus.
-On April 3, 2020 Commissioner Fired with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encouraged agricultural business to apply for the U.S. Small Businesses Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This is part of the CARES Act which is the federal coronavirus response package. This program is intended for small business to be able to keep their workers on the payroll by offering loans to the business on a first-come, first-serve basis. The loan can be forgiven if the employer follows certain guidelines which includes keeping their workers on the payroll for eight week and using the money for certain approved expenses including payroll, rent and utilities. More details of the program and qualification guidelines can be found at: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP–Fact-Sheet.pdf
–From the US Department of Labor:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES NEW PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE IMPLEMENTATION
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Helps Americans Overcome COVID-19 Workplace Challenges
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective today, April 1, 2020.
FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. WHD administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
The full news release can be found using this link: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200401
The attached FFCRA posters are to be posted immediately through December 31, 2020. I have attached both English and Spanish versions. Please note these posters are for Non-Federal employees.
More updates and resource information will posted as it becomes available.
Source: Ajia Paolillo, UF/IFAS Multi-County Citrus Extension Agent I