SVA & The Department of Homeland Security

Wednesday, November 12, 2003, ARA staff met with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide them an update on the Asmark Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA).

ARA informed DHS of the proactive steps retailers are taking to protect their products and their growers from possible threats. DHS was very impressed by the web-based tool and its ability to educate retailers about their security needs.

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Staff from the Office of the Secretary, Private Sector,
and the Protective Measures Section of Homeland Security watch as
Jack Eberspacher, ARA President & CEO, explains the SVA program.

DHS plans to work closely with ARA in order to better communicate security threats to retailers and growers and to understand retailer security issues. Utilizing such programs as the SVA, ARA and DHS hope that retailers will be able to lead the security process for the ag industry.

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Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, Jr., Special Assistant to the Secretary, Private Sector,
reviews a sample SVA assessment plan.

As of October 31, 2003, over 2,000 facilities have been assessed. That number is expected to climb to 3,000 by the end of December 2003. If you haven't registered for the SVA yet, call your state ag association today. If your state is not a member of the SVA program, call the ARA office at 1-800-535-6272. ARA members and state association members receive a discounted price for assessment.