New Web site offers resources to help food-related businesses

A new Web site offers information to Colorado farmers and food manufacturers to help them comply with regulations, ensure safety and quality and market their products.

“Marketing and selling food products can be one of the most challenging aspects to a farm enterprise or food entrepreneur, especially when direct sales are involved,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “We hope this Web site helps food businesses develop and expand their products and marketing channels.”

The new Web site, located at www.cofarmtomarket.com, was created by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University Extension and the Colorado Farmers’ Market Association with support from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The site was designed to help businesses involved involved in food production and sales, including growers and manufacturers as well as farmers’ markets.

Th site offers information about local, state and federal food licensing regulations; maintaining safety and quality in producing, processing and handling foods; and developing marketing channels to  sell food to consumers as well as stores, restaurants and institutional customers.

The site also includes information about the Cottage Foods Act, which was enacted in March.

“We hope that the Cottage Foods Act checklist will help new food businesses better prepare for direct market sales as well as help farmers’ market managers organize the required and recommended information from vendors proposing cottage food sales in their markets,” said Martha Sullins of the Colorado State University Extension.

“In the coming months, additional interpretation, guidance and recommendations will be posted to this Web site, so we are encouraging people to visit the site often,” Sullins said.