Foreign produce growers and shippers sending product to the U.S. know they have to meet or exceed U.S. food safety standards.
Not only do buyers and consumers demand this, but it’s the law. Nonetheless, some imported produce fights an image problem that it’s less safe than domestic competitors.
The industry is now working through the Food Safety Modernization Act’s effect for imports, but one group is spreading the word that it has had an approved food safety system in place for five years.
Representatives of a government-backed program in Mexico are meeting with U.S. importers this summer and telling them they already have such a system, called Mexico Supreme Quality.
The group plans to have more than 500 companies signed up by the end of the year.
This isn’t our endorsement of the system because we’re not qualified to determine that.
But we respect that this group is gaining worldwide certifications and presenting this established label as one that is safe. After all, even one food safety incident would tarnish such a label.
Food safety is something that shouldn’t be marketed as a competitive advantage, implying a competing company or region is less safe. But taking on a public perception that an area’s product is less safe seems like a wise move, provided that promise is backed up.
Food safety is an ongoing issue — a culture — not a puzzle that’s ever solved.
The more companies and countries to embrace this culture, the stronger the industry becomes.
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