California-based Hollandia Produce recently had an accredited certification firm conduct the PrimusGFS audit and received perfect marks. The program is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for certification of produce, from growing to minimally processed and fresh-cut products.
Hollandia Produce marketing manager Renee Cooper told FoodProductionDaily the producer’s high score is a boon for the company, retailers, and consumers alike.
“High scores are related the level of compliance with the food safety procedures and practices which are part of the GFS audit,” she said. “It provides both the retailer and consumer with a measure of a producer’s adherence to a food safety program.”
PrimusGFS is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized audit scheme for the certification of produce sector products, from growing operations to minimally processed (fresh-cut) produce products. The audit is produced by Azzule System and conducted by accredited audit firms.
The audit stretches across various stages of a producer’s operation, such as pre- and post-harvest activities, cooling, packing, processing, and storing. It delves into operational compliance in three key areas: Food Safety Management, Good Agriculture Practices/Good Manufacturing Practices, and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP); Hollandia Produce received a 100% score across the board.
“Food safety is at the foundation of everything we do,” said Hollandia Produce CEO Pete Overgaag. “This score reinforces our staff's commitment to adhere to food safety training, and related policies and procedures, and underscores our ability to deliver competitively superior products that exceed customer expectations.”
Hollandia Produce, founded in 1970, is a family-owned and -operated specializing in greenhouse-grown vegetables. Its flagship products (Living Butter Lettuce, 3-in-1 Lettuce, and Red Butter Lettuce) are live products delivered in clear clamshell containers designed to minimize damage, shrinkage, and spoilage, and allow the plants to retain flavor and color for an extended period.