Farmers Signing Up For AuditsPosted: Updated:
FRANKLIN CO., Wash. - When you hear the word "audit" your first reaction may be to hide under a rock. But in Washington's agriculture community, more and more farmers are signing up for them.
The idea of a state auditor going through your business with a fine tooth comb is never a pleasant one. But Reid Reimann from T & R farms doesn't seem to mind. Reimann has volunteered for the audits for the past four years and this season is no different.
"(It's) kind of peace of mind for all the buyers that go through processors who want to know that we're staying compliant with what we're using for pesticides and growing practices," said Reimann.
With so many recent food recalls and bacteria outbreaks companies who buy food from farmers want proof the produce is safe to eat.
"Your major distributors like Walmart, Safeway, Kroger's, these people we're demanding that (farmers) comply with these food safety standards," said Jim Quigley, Washington Dept. of Agriculture, Inspection Manager.
Before the harvest is over state agriculture auditors are hoping farmers let them check for things like tainted irrigation water, sanitation training for workers, and documents showing they run a clean farm.
"We come out to verify they have procedures in place that minimize the risk of microbial contamination for the product their producing," said Chuck Dragoo, Dept. of Agriculture Auditor.
So maybe audits don't get your engine going. But auditors hope farmers follow Reimann's lead and starting thinking about it today.