Naturipe Farms

Interview with Donna Lynn Browne, Director of Food Safety & Social Responsibility

Question

Why has Naturipe chosen GLOBALG.A.P. certification?

Answer
We use a different auditing scheme throughout our organization but primarily use GLOBALG.A.P. in Chile, Peru and Argentina. Auditors for GLOBALG.A.P. are more established in these countries than other schemes. We have taken on a few growers in the USA that have GLOBALG.A.P. certification and continue to let them use GLOBALG.A.P. over other schemes. We have also experienced USA growers switch to GLOBALG.A.P. to save money due to your group certification options.

Question

Donna Lynn, you have been a regular and thoughtful contributor to our NTWG – can you speak about why it’s important for you to be involved? 

Answer
I feel it very important to have a say in what growers will be forced to adhere to under audit schemes. Once in place it is often too late, so I find it very important to be a part of schemes from the beginning. For example, I was able to point out in a meeting the difficulty of the requirement of cranberries to use only potable water to harvest. GLOBALG.A.P. learned about the difficulty and was able to change this requirement as growers flood the soil in order to harvest cranberries and as soon as it hits the ground it is no longer potable.

Question

We appreciate that you spoke on a panel in our 2018 SUMMIT in Lima, Peru.  What was it like for you to participate in this event? 

Answer
I love to meet other growers, buyers and scheme makers. It was great to meet with other highly regarded food safety people and speak face to face with them. In fact, I was able to correct a misunderstanding of a produce rule in Chile that required blueberry pack houses to register with the FDA under the preventive controls rule when they are to be under the produce rule. That alone made the trip and talk worth it!

 

Wilbur-Ellis

Interview with Mallory Lucas, Willamette Valley Food Safety Specialist / GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer

Question
Can you tell us about the services that Wilbur-Ellis provides to fruit and vegetable growers?

Answer
Wilbur-Ellis offers full-service consultation to growers throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as compliance support in the Cascade region. We currently have four Food Safety Specialists throughout the company, and our team is growing.

Full-service consultation includes audit coordination, completion of risk assessments, creation of a customized food safety plan or review of an existing plan, day-of audit support, and corrective action guidance. We want to ensure our growers are supported through the entire process, from deciding to pursue certification to getting the certificate in-hand. We provide consultation in USDA G.A.P., Harmonized G.A.P., the GLOBALG.A.P. Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS), Harmonized G.A.P. Plus+, GLOBALG.A.P. IFA, GLOBALG.A.P. Produce Handling Assurance (PHA), PrimusGFS, Safe Quality Food (SQF), Organic System Plans, and FSMA Produce Safety Rule compliance.

Our compliance support in the Cascade region is offered as a complement to our consultation services or as a stand-alone service. Compliance support gives growers and packers the opportunity to have a seasoned professional lead training in the Worker Protection Standard and the Paraquat safety course required by Washington state.

Wilbur-Ellis chose to enter into the food safety arena to meet a growing need in our customer base. We aim to be a true business partner to our clients, offering services that go beyond simply being a retailer of agricultural inputs. In addition to food safety consultation, Wilbur-Ellis brings innovative solutions through its farm management software, AgVerdict, hiring skilled agronomists to collaborate with clients, and using benchmarked data points for increased crop productivity through our local dedicated Research and Development team.

Question
Mallory, how long have you been a Farm Assurer with GLOBALG.A.P.? Why did you decide to become a Farm Assurer?

Answer
I began pursuing the Farm Assurer license shortly after transitioning from field technology to food safety. After two years of diligently completing trainings, building consultation experience, and expanding my knowledge of the industry, I completed my certification requirements in 2018.

While the GLOBALG.A.P. swag can’t be beat, the real reason I chose to become a Farm Assurer was to ensure I’m bringing my clients to highest level of service I possibly can. The Farm Assurer certification has given me access to online trainings and the ability to collaborate with other professionals through events like the National Technical Working Group (NTWG).  I develop a strong bond with my growers through the consultation process, and I feel responsible for providing them the best guidance I can.

Being able to promote my Farm Assurer status has brought value to Wilbur-Ellis as well as our clients. I have gained new clients, I have given my existing clients more confidence in my services, and I have been given speaking opportunities to promote Wilbur-Ellis and GLOBALG.A.P. at numerous industry events.

The relationship between Wilbur-Ellis and GLOBALG.A.P. brings immense value to both our clients and our company.

Are you interested in being a featured member in our e-newsletter? Contact Rosemary Quinn at quinn@globalgap.org.