We Put Food Safety First
At Naturipe Farms we genuinely care about the food safety of our products. We hire the best in their fields, so we can do the best in our fields.
“I began my employment here in July 2012 and I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it is to work for a company and with growers that authentically care about food safety. They will put their “money where their mouth is” when it comes to food safety education, training and implementation. We always strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to all food safety regulations. For example, we had already implemented most of what is now the regulations issued by the FDA through FSMA, prior to all compliance dates!”
—Donna Lynn Browne, Director of Food Safety and Social Responsibility for Naturipe Farms
We realize you cannot test food safety into a product. Once the problem is there it is hard to eliminate so we take a pro-active approach. We have programs in place to help prevent all types of food safety hazards from occurring in the first place, such as:
- We deter animals from being in or in close proximity to our fields. Although birds are lovely, we don’t like finding a feather in our berries either!
- We use natural methods first, such as biological competitors, instead of using pesticides whenever we can.
- When we do need to use pesticides, we increase the harvest intervals to ensure the residues are nil to minimal, even lower than the USDA/EPA allow.
- We monitor and test the water applied to the fields.
- We constantly train our employees on issues that affect the food safety of our products.
- We are always looking for new methods and technologies to improve our food safety.
Naturipe is fully registered and compliant with the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 and all other food safety and EPA regulations. We maintain contact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) in order to comply with this and all other regulations.
We are also very active with the numerous working food safety councils and technical committees to always stay on the fore-front of food safety and help guide policy. These include the CPA (center for produce safety), PMA and United Fresh food safety and technology councils and the GLOBALG.A.P North America working groups.
GAP stands for “good agricultural practices.” They are standards which all of our growers adhere to, to provide the utmost in food safety. These include employee training, proper sanitation of equipment, and fair labor practices (a healthy happy worker picks with care and love).
All of our growers follow a Global Food Safety Initiative – GFSI – benchmarked scheme for food safety standards. These include, GlobalGAP, PrimusGFS or SQF. As part of our Global Food Safety program, Naturipe employs independent third party auditors to verify that GAPs are being followed on every farm and facility around the world. Audits are performed by certified, independent third-party agencies to ensure adherence to Good Agricultural Practices for food safety set by the FDA. The results of these audits are reviewed by Naturipe’s food safety staff. Non-compliance issues are addressed and corrective measures are verified by Naturipe’s Director of Food Safety and if they do not adhere to all said standards they will not be allowed to grow for Naturipe. Period.
GMP stands for “good manufacturing practices.” They are standards we follow in all packing houses, processing facilities, coolers, and storage and distribution centers. These standards include the following:
- Monitoring all complaints and trending them to be alerted to a possible problem area.
- Employee training on basic food safety, hand washing, personal hygiene and proper procedures to ensure the food safety is not compromised during any part of the process.
- Preventive maintenance programs to ensure that all equipment is functioning properly and does not cause an issue.
- Equipment and facility cleaning to maintain everything in a sanitary manner.
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) training for facilities.
- Pest Control Program to make sure there are no possible harborage areas for pests to cause a food safety issue.
- Allergen control program that goes as far as to make sure there are not peanuts in our vending machines.
- Approved supplier policy so we make sure everything that touches our product comes from companies who themselves have been audited for safe practices.
We have a very vigorous IPM, “integrated pest management,” program. Our first options are using our integrated pest management program, which includes old-fashioned hand picking and biological control, and we will only use pesticides as last resort. All employees that apply these products on our farms are fully trained and certified to do so. We also closely monitor all field records to ensure proper usage and rates in the first place!
Just as important as Food Safety is Social Responsibility. Naturipe Farms realizes if it were not for all of our hard working employees we would be nothing. We believe in a happy, fair and equitable workplace and have set policies to ensure this happens. We randomly use 3rd party auditors to audit our growers and all facilities to ensure these practices are in place and fully functioning. During these audits they freely and anonymously privately interview up to 15 employees to make sure they feel they are being treated fairly and equitably. We expect all of our growers, employees and management to adhere to the following:
- Naturipe Farms producers are expected to follow the laws of the land of the location that the product is produced or service is rendered.
- Considering Naturipe Farms product may be produced in many different areas of the world, and all of these areas may have different standards, the below list would be the subjects that will need to be benchmarked in relationship to national, state and/or local standards.
- Work schedule expectations.
- Payments to workers are within guidelines of local, state and national laws.
- The work place is free from: compulsory labor, child labor, discrimination, forced labor and sexual coercion.
- Rest periods are being implemented as prescribed by local, state and national law.
- Environmental health and worker safety programs are in place as prescribed by national, state and/or local standards.
- Housing accommodations, if provided or compensated for, meet or exceed the standards prescribed by local, state and national law.
Naturipe Farms is also very active on the fore-front of social responsibility. We are sighed on to the joint PMA & United Fresh Ethical Charter and we sit on the steering committees for; the SSCI, Sustainable Supply Chain initiative and the ethical PMA & UF council.
Our berries are grown, harvested and shipped with the highest standards of care possible and our rigorous food safety standards apply regardless of where the berries are grown. Naturipe’s Global Food Safety Program has been developed from decades of research, consumer feedback and close cooperation with food safety experts as well as state, federal and international regulatory agencies. It is founded on the principles of Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and reinforced through education, laboratory assays and annual third party audits. We are proud members of GLOBALG.A.P and a Primus Platinum Member.
Even with everything we do to obtain and maintain food safety, there are steps consumers should take to ensure they preserve the safety and freshness of fresh fruits and vegetables as well. We always recommend rinsing fresh produce in running water immediately before consuming.
Cultivate with Care
“Cultivate with Care” is Naturipe’s commitment to operating our business in a way that minimizes environmental impact and simultaneously supports our local and global communities. Sustainability is a priority in every aspect of our company and farming operations. Our growing partners and family farmers understand the role that sustainability must play in guiding their actions on important issues such as environmental protection, resource conservation, ethical business practices, and the health and safety of their employees and community. Learn more about Naturipe’s environment stewardship by clicking HERE
Greener Fields Together
Our partnership with Greener Fields Together demonstrates our dedication to environmental wellbeing, economic productivity, and social equity. Examining sustainability in our operations through the completion of verified case studies and reporting shows our commitment to ensuring a future for food.
Our Compliance to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act
We engage in verification of product supply chains to evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery. We do this by spot announced, and unannounced visits to all parts of our supply chain.
We conduct audits of suppliers or have 3rd party auditors evaluate compliance with company standards for social responsibility, trafficking and slavery throughout all of our supply chain.
We require direct suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into the product comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they are doing business and our own social responsibility standards.
We maintain internal accountability standards and procedures for employees or contractors failing to meet company standards regarding slavery and trafficking.
We provide company employees and management, who have direct responsibility for supply chain management, training on social responsibility, including human trafficking and slavery, particularly with respect to mitigating risks within the supply chains of products.