Participants stress value of organic conference

06/19/2009 01:10:00 PM
Dan Galbraith

All Things Organic was scheduled in conjunction with the Expo Comida Latina and All Asia Food shows.

“You can’t really compare attendance and booth numbers for this year to previous years because this is a whole different configuration and we’re working with different partners this years, said Barbara Haumann, press secretary of the Organic Trade Association.

Also at the show, fresh produce retailers and producers were reminded they need to make sure they’re commited to case-level traceability — both in concept and in making suring their systems and procedures can shoulder the load.

Kathy Means, vice president of government relations and public affairs for the Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del., on June 17 stressed the need to adopt traceability protocols, but also have the right attitude about it.

While some may view case-level traceability as a burden and a paper trail nightmare, Means said it’s important in avoiding food safety problems and it also builds consumer confidence and can lead to more fresh produce sales.

Means said growers and retailers should not think of traceability and food safety as simply cost liabilities, but as a means of brand-building, reducing shrink and gaining consumer loyalty.

More specifics on the Produce Traceability Initiative will come in October, Means said, but she emphasized all fresh produce companies need to make sure they are satisfying minimum traceability elements such as maintaining accurate records on case identification numbers, lot and batch numbers and dates of packing, harvest, etc., and properly labeling products with such information.


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