North Bay Produce

Interview with Jennifer Pulcipher – Director of Food Safety & Compliance

Why is GLOBALG.A.P. important to you?

GLOBAL.G.A.P. is important to me because it has always been the flagship of third party Good Agricultural Practices and the gold standard of food safety certifications for growers around the world to achieve. Many North Bay Produce suppliers participate in the standard and therefore being involved with GLOBALG.A.P. is important to me so that I can represent our company’s suppliers and industry partners and be a voice on their behalf.

What is your GLOBALG.A.P. story?

My GLOBALG.A.P. story started when I joined North Bay Produce in 2013 upon graduating from Michigan State University. Not familiar with 3rd party food safety audits, GLOBALG.A.P. was my introduction. Eager to learn more, I completed my first GLOBALG.A.P. Online Training Course in the IFA and PSS Standards for Fruits & Vegetables in 2014 and have since continued my education and involvement with the standard. North Bay officially became GLOBALG.A.P. members in 2019 where I learned about the opportunity to become an active participant with GLOBALG.A.P. North America. Though I have had some involvement with GLOBALG.A.P. in one way or another for several years, I feel as though my story has only just begun and look forward to serving on the Technical Committee for Crops for the next three years.

What is the one important thing we should consider changing or improving for our new V6?

As far as revisions and improvements, I believe that that main focus of all improvements relates back to the relevancy of the end user who is implementing the standard in the field and furthermore focusing improvements on long term sustainability of the standard itself. There isn’t necessarily one specific concept we need to turn our focus to, rather always considering how the standard is being implemented and used; knowing that it is not necessarily a one size-fits-all approach and always allowing flexibility whilst keeping food safety in the forefront. In addition, there will always be new science, regulations and changes in our world that will need to be considered. This could not be truer given the global pandemic currently taking place. By taking all of these factors into consideration each time the standard is revised, it will allow GLOBALG.A.P. to stay relevant and help contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of the standard.



Interview with Abby Sherburne, Chief of Staff

Why is it important for you to be GLOBALG.A.P. members and how can your product help farmers?

HeavyConnect develops easy-to-use mobile software to digitize and simplify field operations. Our technology provides compliance documentation and record keeping for the agricultural industry.

We built HeavyConnect to level the playing field for growers of all sizes - empowering them to simplify their operations and worklife. GLOBALG.A.P. enables our growers to showcase that work through the audit process. Like GLOBALG.A.P., we want to simplify the process of compliance documentation across the food chain, so we’ve partnered with GLOBALG.A.P. to digitize that process, allowing growers to reduce paper, address corrective actions in real time, and make it home for more dinners with family. 

Our software is easy to implement and use. This lowers the barrier to entry and allows all growers and packers (no matter their company culture or size) to implement digital food safety tracking. Additionally, our customer success team provides new customers with clear trainings and proactive support to make sure that deployments across an organization happen quickly.

What is your GLOBALG.A.P. story?

We build software for agriculture producers that makes in-field data collection simple. Frequently, we work with food safety managers to make sure they can ensure standards across fields or between growers and have a centralized repository for all documentation. As our platform grew to accommodate all specialty crops, we found that our customers were using HeavyConnect for audit preparedness, so we built GLOBALG.A.P. checklists for food safety managers to run pre-audits on. As we’ve started working with the corporate team at GLOBALG.A.P., we’ve been heartened to learn that we share core values. Providing innovative and intuitive solutions to growers that facilitate collaboration across the food chain is the core of what we do.

How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will impact your business and the future of food safety?

In the agriculture industry, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of standards, record-keeping, and remote collaboration around worker and food safety. We are always looking for ways to help our customers improve their work life, and an event like this requires operations to think more critically about having sustainable and safe systems in place. A collaborative organization has a strategic advantage when it comes to managing food safety programs. Historically, remote collaboration has been especially challenging. Today, mobile platforms offer a complete solution for remote collaboration within an organization. When a mobile platform focuses on food safety management, the result is a more reliable path to compliance for the entire operation regardless of distance.