PRINCETON, Fla. — New Limeco LLC is expanding its food safety commitment by completing the certification chain.
In June, the grower-shipper of avocados and tropicals plans to undergo a Global Food Safety Initiative audit for all its groves.
It received GFSI certification for its packinghouse in 2012 but has been advancing its groves to the same standards.
After the orchard certification, New Limeco will possess field-to-customer traceability.
New Limeco’s groves received good agricultural practices certification, but retailers are beginning to require GFSI certification for the fields, said Don Edgar, operations manager.
One of its retailers established a goal requesting case labels on each box of product New Limeco ships to it. By Jan. 1, New Limeco had met the standard, said Eddie Caram, general manager.
New Limeco went further by applying case labels that meet the industry Produce Traceability Initiative standards, Caram said.
The improvements allow New Limeco to recall by case level instead of pallet or lot level.
That precision should help speed the recall process and help reduce the length and effect of recalls, he said.
In a demonstration of the new system’s abilities, New Limeco recently recalled cartons of star fruit that inadvertently received some fertilizer spray from an adjoining avocado grove.
The product wasn’t harmful but wasn’t labeled for star fruit use, so New Limeco was able to successfully recall all 200 boxes of the product, which it destroyed, Caram said.
New Limeco is applying the technology to its South Florida avocados and tropicals and to its imported products.
The case labeling also helps retailers manage their inventory, Caram said.