A group of sprout growers has formed the Sprout Alliance for Safety & Science in an effort to differentiate themselves from sprout producers responsible for recent food safety incidents.

The alliance of growers, seed suppliers and other related industry stakeholders plans to develop and provide verification for science-based operating standards to grow safe sprouts, invest in scientific research, training and education and communicate about sprouts to the trade and consumers, according to a news release.

The alliance welcomes participation from industry companies willing to join and comply with the alliance’s standards program, the release said.

All companies seeking membership in the Sprout Alliance for Safety and Science must undergo a variety of tests to become eligible and are required to follow strict alliance standards, according to the release.

Founding Alliance members include California Sprouts LLC, Sacramento, Hanover Foods Corp., Hanover, Pa., and Pearson Foods Corp., Grand Rapids, Mich.

“We are proactively creating an alliance of members who are dedicated to taking an aggressive and active role in creating and adopting more rigorous science-based food safety standards,” Steffanie Smith, California Sprouts partner and immediate past chairwoman of Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association and former chief executive officer of River Point Farms LLC, Hermiston, Ore.