The Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement (OPMA) is a grassroots
effort led by Ohio's agriculture community to take charge of food safety
in our state and nation. It is a statewide network of farmers,
standards and inspections that are realistic, sensible and affordable.
What is OPMA? What does it do for you?
- It is a regulatory third-party certification that fits your farm with standards that make sense and can be implemented by anyone.
- The program is a three-tier system that lets you pick your place in Ohio agriculture, whether you are servicing a farmers market, auction, organic farmer, small roadside grower, co-op, or selling to a market chain or nationwide broker.
- It is governed by farmers with an advisory board of your peers who understand how to farm and have the same problems, concerns, and issues that you face every day.
- The inspection program is designed and conducted by experienced and educated individuals from Ohio who understand your farm.
- Participation is very affordable—there’s no need for high priced third party audit fees.
While developed for agriculture in Ohio, anyone nation-wide can become a member and utilize the benefits of the certification. The standards, processes and inspection system are universally applicable and are compliant with International Standards Organization 10765 (ISO 10765).
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act may change standards or information posted on OPMA web sites. It is strongly recommended to check these sites often for updates to certification requirements, standards, or procedures.
Governor Signs Agriculture Voluntary Marketing Bill
After nearly one year of effort by the Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association (OPGMA) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 309 on September 26, 2012. Sponsored by Senator Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, the new law creates voluntary agricultural marketing agreements in the state. The agreements will enable farmers to organize voluntary marketing initiatives for products like fruits, vegetables, and other commodities. The agreements will be self-supporting through fees paid by participants. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will assist in establishing the agreements.