Western Growers has launched the Supply Chain Risk Management Solution, a comprehensive program designed to reduce outbreaks, and some leafy greens grower-shippers are testing the software.
The new program was announced June 27 at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, Calif.
Following several recent outbreaks traced to leafy greens/romaine lettuce, one of the FDA stressed the need for the produce industry to use technology to improve product traceability.
“This industry-driven solution is a momentous step in taking control of supply chain food safety and traceability issues as identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers, said in a news release. “We have faced several high-profile food contamination events within the past few years, and this program will allow us to go beyond the traditional paper-based food tracking system and improve industry information while addressing concerns identified by public health authorities and consumers.”
Western Growers partnered with iFoodDecisionSciences on the software, which allows companies to assess and track food safety systems and needed improvement, according to the release. HarvestMark, a division of Trimble, is also involved, with its blockchain-enabled technology for fast tracking.
The Supply Chain Risk Management Solution also includes crisis guidance and legal counsel from Western Growers Insurance Services.
Several members of Western Growers, which represents companies in California and Arizona, are testing the software, according to the release. Once those leafy greens growers complete the pilot program, the software will be made available to the industry. It’s open source, so it will work with other programs already in place, according to the release.