Food safety remains top of mind for grape growers
Posted: July 14th, 2010 - 12:20pm
Source: The Packer
Food safety is an issue that won’t go away — and that’s a good thing for retailers and consumers of California table grapes.
All major grape grower-shippers have implemented comprehensive food safety programs, and they show no signs of letting their guard down.
“Food safety to us is very important,” said Gordon Robertson, vice president of sales and marketing for Sun World International LLC, Bakersfield, Calif.
The company has certifications in place in its facilities and in the field through PrimusLabs.com and other third-party auditors, he said.
Sun World has focused on developing a strategy to meet the Produce Traceability Initiative milestones and to meet customer and consumer food safety demands, Robertson said.
“We know from consumer insights that we’ve done that this is a very important thing for shoppers,” he added.
The company already has implemented traceback capabilities on clamshell containers of table grapes.
“We partner with HarvestMark in our consumer unit-level traceability on all of our clamshells,” Robertson said.
Sun World is conducting testing on grape bags this year to see how the traceback process works and if it will function well within its work flow, he said.
Now is a good time to board the traceability bandwagon, Robertson said, since many retailers plan to use traceability as a point of differentiation.