As the 2013 berry season begins, the team at California Giant is focused squarely on continuing its leadership in food safety. The Operations and Food Safety staff members are working to further enhance programs already in place while adding new elements to benefit everyone through the supply chain from the field to the consumer.
There are several new components in place, but the centerpiece is the expansion to full item level traceability utilizing the FoodLink® Item solution on all domestic strawberries. The team has completed their comprehensive pilot program, working closely with the group at Foodlink to ensure complete accuracy upon full implementation. FoodLink’s Item solution allows us to place an individualized QR code on every strawberry container next to the UPC code. Each unique code will contain information about the specific growing location for each package. Item level traceability utilizing the QR code or unique set of numbers will allow both trading partners and the consumer to trace strawberries back to the source.
Not only will this new system serve as a valuable food safety tool for the future, but will provide additional information for the end user as they learn more about where their food is grown. “We have worked very closely with Foodlink and our clamshell providers to create an accurate, efficient way of achieving this. We hope to enhance our consumer’s confidence and overall experience with our berries. In the meantime, our daily attention is focused on a Food Safe production system based on risk assessment, prevention, and training throughout the company,” said Lucky Westwood, vice president of operations for California Giant.
“The FoodLink Item solution really is a game changer for California Giant and their customers,” said Eric Peters, CEO, FoodLink. “Shoppers are increasingly demanding more and better information about the food they eat, and California Giant is among the first to cost effectively align a complex supply chain moving millions of items to embed traceability data all the way from the field to the consumer.”
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