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).
Governor Signs Agriculture Marketing Bill Promoted by OPGMA
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. 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.
For three years, OPGMA has been developing a first-of-its-kind marketing program for fruit and vegetables with a core purpose of providing safer produce products to retailers and directly to consumers. The Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement 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.
The voluntary program provides 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. Farms are already participating and enrollment is available now to any producer and market. Over the coming months OPGMA will seek formal recognition from the agriculture department under the new law.
OPGMA thanks the staff and leadership of the Farm Bureau, and Senator Hite for their support and efforts in helping to secure the passage of the Bill.