CEA grower Edible Garden’s Heartland facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is in the news again. This time with the announcement of grant funding to further ongoing Edible Garden food safety and leadership initiatives. The grants from West Michigan Works! and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Specialty Crop Block Program will help fund employee training at the Heartland facility.
“We are pleased to have been awarded these grants from West Michigan Works! and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Specialty Crop Block Program that will be able to enhance the Company’s efforts in food safety,” Edible Garden CEO Jim Kras said. “Specifically, these grants will provide opportunities for our employees at the Company’s Edible Garden Heartland facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to undergo training in key areas including Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points training, and Good Agricultural Practices Training.”
West Michigan Works! awards funds to Western Michigan employers to help reimburse expenses associated with leadership and food safety training. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program provides grants to organizations that enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crop industry, with an emphasis on potential impact and quantifiable results.
Kras added that the grants complement the company’s ongoing food safety research partnerships announced earlier this year. The company participates in EPA-funded research partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the USDA studying the impact of nanobubble technology on fresh produce food safety and processing procedures. In addition, the company collaborates with Auburn University’s Department of Horticulture on a research study focusing on food safety issues such as fresh produce contamination and the implementation of effective mitigation strategies.
Edible Garden’s Heartland facility made headlines this spring as the CEA grower expanded into ornamental plants, including hanging baskets and accent plants targeting Mothers Day shoppers, as well as a “Garden Starters” line of potted herbs and bowls. In March, its new line of Pulp sustainable gourmet sauces and chili-based products debuted, under the trademark-pending Bland to Bold.
Image: courtesy Edible Garden AG Incorporated