Western Growers (WG), Irvine, Calif., launched a new supply chain risk management solution, a unique and comprehensive program that aims to reduce the number of food contamination outbreaks.

“This industry-driven solution is a momentous step in taking control of supply chain food safety and traceability issues as identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” says Tom Nassif, president and CEO. “We have faced several high-profile food contamination events within the past few years, and this program will allow us to go beyond the traditional paper-based food tracking system and improve industry information while addressing concerns identified by public health authorities and consumers.”

WG’s supply chain risk management solution utilizes new technology to advance food safety in several ways:

  • Daily assessment. While industry currently assesses compliance and implementation of practices through third-party audits (a snapshot in time), this program’s unique software system allows companies daily and continuous input on their food safety performance.
  • Track trends. This system allows companies to easily review and track food safety data to identify trends that facilitate ongoing improvements in food safety practices throughout the supply chain.
  • Traceability. The program provides instantaneous case and item level traceability across the entire supply chain using cloud- and blockchain-enabled technology.
  • Financial protection. The solution offers indemnification to supply chain participants in the case of a contamination event.

WG partnered with iFoodDecisionSciences, Seattle, Wash., to deliver the unique software system. Additionally, HarvestMark, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based division of Trimble, boasts blockchain-enabled technology that provides a readily available traceback and traceforward capability to quickly narrow and identify the specific products that are and are not involved in a food safety event. The insurance portion of the supply chain risk management solution offers access to superior crisis management guidance from WG insurance services as well as legal counsel and claim adjudication.­­­