Food Lion's C.O.O. to Chair New Produce Traceability Steering Committee

NEWARK, Del. -- Cathy Green, c.o.o. of Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion, LLC., will chair the broad industry committee charged with putting flesh on the Produce Traceability Initiative to build and activate a consistent, whole-chain traceability solution, said the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) here.

PMA and fellow produce trade groups United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) the Washington, D.C and and Ontario, Canada-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), appointed the committee's representatives from more than 30 companies representing a broad cross section of the produce supply chain.

The committee is charged with developing a plan for creating industrywide traceability best practice guidelines, timelines and goals for adoption, and the creation of 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 nine retailers: Food Lion, H-E-B, W. Newell & Co. (Supervalu), The Kroger Co., Loblaws, Safeway Stores, Inc., Schnuck Markets, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Wegmans Food Markets.

Seven foodservice buyers on the committee are Amerifresh, Applebee's International, Markon Cooperative, Inc., McDonald's, Pro*Act, Sysco Corporation, U.S. Foodservice

The 17 produce suppliers are 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., Naturipe Farms, LLC., The Oppenheimer Group, Pandol Brothers, Inc., Ready Pac Produce, River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC., and Tanimura & Antle.

PMA said the initiative's sponsor organizations have 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 take place Jan. 9, 2008, in Atlanta, Ga., PMA said. The Perishables Group will act as the facilitator for the group's meeting.
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