Bonduelle Fresh Americas, an Irwindale, Calif.-based subsidiary of Bonduelle, France, initiated a plan with its growers to ensure the safety of its leafy greens supply through the 2019 California growing season, effective May 1.

"Safety has always been our highest priority, and Bonduelle Fresh Americas continues to be committed to delivering the safe, fresh and healthy products our customers and consumers have come to expect from us," says Mary Thompson, chief executive officer. "Since Day 1, we have been a part of the initiative to heighten agricultural water standards, and truly believe it is critical to do so as soon as possible to protect our leafy greens supply from possible agricultural water contamination."

In preparation for the upcoming 2019 California growing season, Bonduelle Fresh Americas’ food safety team conducted assessments of 100% of growing fields over the last several months, focusing on water sources, distribution systems, irrigation methods, treatment methods and other important aspects of its growers' agricultural irrigation systems. With this knowledge, the company established agricultural water management requirements for its growers, which include:

  • Pre-season assessments—treatment requirement (overhead irrigation). For any open agricultural water systems (such as surface water, water transported by canals or water held in irrigation reservoirs), Bonduelle Fresh Americas requires growers to treat the water during the last 21 days of the scheduled harvest to reduce the risk of pathogens.
  • Other aerial applications. For other aerial applications, such as crop protection chemicals, Bonduelle Fresh Americas requires growers to either meet the microbial standards of drinking water or treat the water to reduce the risk of potential pathogens of all water sources.