Initially 71 handlers signed-up for the agreement.
Then two more signed on.
Now an additional 39 have put their signature to the agreement. One company, Five Crowns Marketing, seems to have dropped off the list. In total we have 111 handlers agreeing to legally bind themselves to the Agreement and allow state inspectors on their property Here are the new additions to the list of signatories.
Access Organics, Inc, Kalispell, MT
Adam Bros. Produce Sales Inc, Santa Maria
Amigo Farms Inc, Yuma
APIO, Inc, Guadalupe
Blanton Produce Co, Salinas
Channel Islands Cooling Inc, Oxnard
Crystal Organic Farms, Bakersfield
Diamond Produce Co, Salinas
Double D Farms, Coalinga
Farside Farms, Coalinga
Four Star Growers Inc, Lamont
Fresh Choice Marketing Inc, Oxnard
Fresh Origins LLC, San Marcos
Greenstar Produce Marketing Inc, Salinas
Jayleaf Specialties, Hollister
Jimenez Farms, Santa Paula
Joe Heger Farms LLC, El Centro
John S Tamagni & Sons, Inc, Spreckels
Kawaguchi Farms, Arroyo Grande
Lakeside Organic Gardens LLC, Watsonville
LT Farm Inc, Bakersfield
Monterey Organics Inc, Salinas
Pacific Fresh Produce Inc, Oxnard
Pacific Marketing Co, Salinas
Pacific Pride Marketing LLC, Oxnard
Pacific Vegetable Growers Inc, Camarillo
Pauls Pak Inc, Salinas
Peterson Specialty Produce, Fallbrook
Premium Fresh Farms LLC, Salinas
Reliable Produce Sourcing LLC,
Saint Francis Cooling Co Inc, Oxnard
Scarborough Farms Inc, Oxnard
Seaboard Produce Dist Inc, Oxnard
Sierra Heights Marketing Inc, Porterville
Sunamerica Produce, Salinas
Sunfresh USA Inc, Santa Paula
Suprema Star, Hollister
Times Produce Inc, Los Angeles
William Consalo and Sons, Bakersfield
It is a very impressive list, including many small handlers. It couldn’t have happened without incredible effort by the board members and the whole industry.
It allows the trade to point to one unqualified success in responding to the food safety outbreaks of last year. It proves that the trade can and will respond — even without mandatory government regulation.
It is an accomplishment the industry should be very proud of making happen. Yet, its very success points out its limitations. It has obviously been so important to get even the tiniest handler signed up.
Yet it doesn’t cover product from the other 49 states.
It doesn’t cover imported product.
It only covers leafy greens.
And even if we were to have 100% participation today — someone is bound to drop out one day or to start a company without joining. Then we won’t have 100% participation.
The world is filled with skeptics who doubt the quality of a set of GAP metrics developed by the produce industry. They stand in wait to pounce upon the very first mishap and use that mishap to discredit the whole program.
Let us hope there is no mishap that will give them a chance to undo so much good.