Chat - Steffanie Smith - The Packer

Chat - Steffanie Smith

12/14/2010 02:43:18 PM
Tom Karst

3:13 p.m. Karst: One more question about the food safety legislation and the Tester language exempting some smaller growers from food safety regulations. Was that an interesting discussion for the United Fresh board about the group’s position after you learned about that?

3:15 p.m. Smith: It was incredibly disappointing to have that amendment in there that allows exemptions for smaller farms. We were very disappointed in that. The dialogue internally with United and the board was pretty simple, that we need to fight that and try to make food safety a level playing field for all parties. But I also believe that our customers that they are going to demand that level and ultimately you will see the same expectations at even some of the smaller local arenas. People are going to want to understand how it was grown and if it is safe. I think the dialogue will continue and ultimately our customers will tell us what those expectations are. They are not going to risk their brand or their label of their stores by buying from someone who can’t meet minimum food safety standards. Time will tell.

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