NEWARK, Del. — Twenty-seven companies, including major food retailers, food-service entities and produce growers, have joined the Produce Traceability Initiative, a new industry program aimed at driving broad adoption of long-overlooked traceability standards and practices throughout the produce supply chain, according to the Produce Marketing Association here. The companies include Wal-Mart Stores, Kroger, Food Lion, Wegmans Food Markets, Sysco, U.S. Foodservice, C.H. Robinson, Maturipe and Tanimura & Antle, Gary Fleming, the PMA’s vice president, industry technology and standards, told SN. The program is sponsored by the PMA, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the United Fresh Produce Association. In addition to the 27 participating companies, four others are expected to join, he said. Cathy Green, chief operating officer of Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., will chair the initiative, Fleming said. The first meeting of the initiative’s participants will be Jan. 9 in Atlanta. “The purpose of the Traceability Initiative is to move the industry into action to incorporate standards and truly have whole-chain traceability for produce,” said Fleming.
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