FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 28, 2007

PMA, CPMA, United Fresh appoint steering committee of the Produce Traceability Initiative

Representatives of more than 30 companies from a broad cross section of the produce supply chain including retailers, foodservice buyers and produce suppliers have been appointed to serve on the steering committee of the Produce Traceability Initiative, an industry-led effort to enhance traceability throughout the supply chain. The initiative’s sponsor associations also announced today that the steering committee will be chaired by Cathy Green, chief operating officer of Food Lion, LLC. 

The initiative was launched in October by Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh). 

The three trade associations came together earlier this year when the boards of directors of each organization recognized the need for greater progress in implementing a consistent whole-chain traceability solution. The steering committee will develop an action plan to help the industry meet this challenge, which may include promotion of industrywide traceability best practices, establishing timelines and goals for adoption, and a creating a validation process for accountability. 

"It is evident that we must help drive a more comprehensive industrywide commitment to trace back and trace forward systems that can be used throughout the produce supply chain,” said Green. “A preventative food safety system begins with a sound, whole-chain traceability system that allows us to rapidly trace product movement up and down the supply chain. By working together to create meaningful action steps implementing greater traceability, we can both protect our consumers and our businesses.”

Participating companies currently confirmed to serve on the steering committee include:

  • six foodservice buyers: Amerifresh, Markon Cooperative, Inc., McDonald’s, Pro*Act, Sysco Corporation, U.S. Foodservice;
  • 11 retail buyers: Food Lion, H-E-B, W. Newell & Co. (Supervalu), The Kroger Co., Loblaws, Safeway Stores, Inc., Publix Super Markets, Schnuck Markets, Inc., Sobeys, , Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Wegmans Food Markets; and
  • 20 produce suppliers: AEPQ (Quebec Apple Packers), B.C. Tree Fruits Limited, Ballantine Produce Co., Inc., C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., Dole Food Company, Inc., Domex Superfresh Growers, Driscoll’s, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc., Fresh Express, Inc., Fresh Innovations, LLC., Frontera Produce, Ltd., L&M Companies, Mann Packing, Naturipe Farms, LLC., Procacci Brothers, The Oppenheimer Group, Pandol Brothers, Inc., Ready Pac Produce, River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC., and Tanimura & Antle.

The initiative’s sponsoring organizations have also invited other stakeholder associations representing key business segments of the North American food industry to participate, including Food Marketing Institute, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, Canadian Horticultural Council, International Foodservice Distributors Association, and National Restaurant Association.

The first meeting of the steering committee will be held Jan. 9, 2008, in Atlanta, Ga.  The Perishables Group will act as the facilitator for the group’s meeting.

---

About the Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is a not-for-profit organization representing over 770 Canadian and International member companies that are active in the marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada from the farm gate to the dinner plate. CPMA members represent all segments of the fresh produce industry. CPMA's vision is to enable and lead the produce industry by enhancing the market and facilitating trade of fresh fruits and vegetables for its members.  For more information about CPMA, please visit www.cpma.ca. 

About GS1 US
GS1 US, a member of GS1, is an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, bar codes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC). www.GS1US.org

About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing business solutions that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

About United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh)
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org.