RI Produce Safety Improvement Grants

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management – Division of Agriculture (RIDEM) is pleased to announce the availability of up to $35,000 of funding in grant opportunities to assist eligible Rhode Island farmers and food businesses with projects that have goals to improve quality, efficiency, and food safety.

Rhode Island Produce Safety Improvement Grants help Rhode Island produce growers implement on-farm food safety practices, transition to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, and meet market demands for on-farm food safety.

Grant Award Amounts

A total of up to $35,000 is avaiilable for this grant round. Grant awards will range from $2,000 to $5,000. Funds for this round have been provided through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Grant Program Eligibility

This grant is available to farms that are subject to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. To be eligible, farms must:

  • Grow, harvest, pack or hold “covered produce” as defined by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR);
  • Have annual produce sales, averaged over the past three years, of greater than $25,000*; and
  • Have enrolled in the Rhode Island Produce Safety Program

*A farm with an average annual monetary value of produce sold during the previous 3-year period of less than $25,000, adjusted for inflation using 2011 as the baseline year for calculating the adjustment, is not covered by the Produce Safety Rule. The average 3-year value for 2017–2019 is $28,075. See FSMA Inflation Adjusted Cut Offs for additional information.

If the applicant has less than three years of sales, take the average of annual produce sales, adjusted for inflation as stated above, for the years that the farm has been in operation.

Grant Program Requirements

In order to qualify, applicants must provide the following:

  • Farm information must be enrolled with the Rhode Island Produce Safety Program
  • A completed grant application. You may find it helpful to draft your answers first, and then copy and paste into the online forms. Use the FSMA Grant Worksheet for this purpose.
  • Applicants must identify produce safety risks on their farm and describe how the project will help prevent or reduce those risks.

HOW TO ENROLL IN THE RHODE ISLAND PRODUCE SAFETY PROGRAM: Farms must complete the following steps in order to enroll their farm in the Rhode Island Produce Safety Program:

Eligible Uses of Program Funds:

  • Specialized Equipment and Supplies: produce harvest/storage improvement
  • Health/Hygiene: cleaning/sanitization tools, signage, compost/manure handling improvements
  • Wash and Pack: washroom supplies, single use packaging

Ineligible Uses of Program Funds:

Program funds cannot be used for the following purposes:

  • Construction and Construction Supplies
  • Projects that fail to demonstrate how produce safety risks will be prevented or reduced
  • Reimbursement for completed projects

2020-2021 Program Timeline:

Application post: December 15, 2020

Applications due: January 15, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Awards announced: Feburary 2021

Funds disbursed: March 2021

Grant End Date: February 28, 2022

Final Report Due: March 30, 2022

Applications closed / No active grant round open

The deadline to apply for the 2020-2021 grants was November 28, 2020.


View the Produce Safety Improvement Grant Request for Proposals.

Questions? Please view our grant application worksheet.

Questions related to the Produce Safety Improvement Grants or the FSMA Produce Safety rule should be directed to (401)-222-2781 or Ananda.Fraser@dem.ri.gov

Grant Awardees