We have been investing a lot in our infrastructure on the farm the last couple of years. For our first several years we made do with what buildings were already here on the farm and made the minimal investments that we needed in equipment to get the basic jobs done. Beyond that we borrowed or rented equipment and made do with what we had.
As our business grows and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) comes into effect, we saw the need for improving the quality of our infrastructure and improving our systems to make sure that we would comply with the FSMA regulations and to be confident that we are providing our customers with the safest, cleanest food possible.
The value of knowing where your food comes from surfaced again this week with the food-borne illness outbreak in romaine lettuce. While an outbreak could happen anywhere, the value of a local food system is the aspect of traceability. With this particular outbreak in romaine lettuce, the most concerning part is that the government cannot identify where the lettuce came from or how it may have been contaminated. When you buy directly from a farm you know exactly where your food comes from and the practices being used on that farm.
Here at Robinette Farms, we test our irrigation water and processing well water annually for contamination, we don't use raw manure on our fields, we train our staff in hand washing and sanitary food safety practices, we monitor our coolers for correct temperatures and we do our best to get our food to you in a timely manner so it stays at the proper temperature. As a consumer, the best thing you can do is make sure you wash your vegetables before you eat them; washing in plain, clean water will get rid of most bacteria present on vegetables.
It is our top priority to provide our community with fresh, safe food and we are really excited that we now have a building that we feel confident will help us continue to do so.
Thanks for trusting us to grow your food!