At Westside Produce, we recognize the safety of the consumer as number one in all business practices. That's why we've spent every effort building a comprehensive food safety plan that requires the highest quality standards in growing and harvesting the fresh produce we market. We also recognize that an imperative part of any comprehensive food safety plan is the ability to quickly and accurately track the products we sell from "the farm to the fork." Our traceability system keeps track of all shipments, where the product came from and where the product is shipped so that we can do just that.
How We Ensure Traceability
As product is packed into boxes in the field, each box is stamped with coding that identifies the field it was packed in, crew that packed it, and date on which it was packed. Once received at the cooling facility, each pallet is tagged and boxes are individually barcoded to indicate those specific characteristics (i.e. field, crew, date). In the event of a recall, this allows us to trace each box back to the field, crew and/or date and by user defined characteristics, forward through the entire cooling process to final destination.
Produce Traceability Initiative
As a part of our ongoing commitment to keeping the consumer safe, we have recently committed to a pilot project for the industry-led Produce Traceability Initiative in a drive to perfect our own system and do our part to perfect an industry wide methodology of seamlessly tracing product at the case level from its point of origin to its final point of sale.
Leading the charge toward a safer fresh produce supply chain, Westside Produce's Technology Director, Justin Porter, recently completed a comprehensive analysis of the Produce Traceability Initiative in an effort to assist the industry in building a more bullet-proof method of tracing product. This research was completed as a Master's Thesis for the Santa Clara University Graduate Business Program under the supervision of Dr. Gregory Baker, PhD.
We are making this thesis, recently presentated at the 21stAnnual International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) Forum and Symposium in Frankfurt, Germany, available to the public. The analysis and results of this study have also been published in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, an academic journal.To view, download or print the full report, click on the link to the right.