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April 20, 2009

Sun World Backs HarvestMark for Traceability

Sun World International LLC plans to start using HarvestMark as its traceability platform starting this spring.

The Bakersfield, Calif.-based company is an endorser of the Produce Traceability Initiative, and plans to use the HarvestMark system for both the traceability initiative's case-level traceability, as well as for item-level traceability for some commodities. HarvestMark is a product of HarvestMark, Redwood City, Calif.

"The new tracking solution is evolving, now all the way down to the consumer unit," said Gordon Robertson, Sun World's vice president of sales and marketing. "We had to get a partner to go to that level."

The traceability initiative pushes for case-level traceability using GS1's Global Trade Item Number, which Sun World plans to include on cases and on many individual products. The HarvestMark is the piece that allows for item-level traceability, as well as for consumer participation.

"Consumers can go online and see what company the product comes from, their farming practices, and more," Robertson said.

Sun World plans to use HarvestMark on clamshells, bags and some produce items themselves.

Among the first to adorn the HarvestMark this spring will be table grapes, Robertson said. "As we enter the season here, it won't be every single (package of) grapes, but step by step," he said. "We're currently in the process of defining by season what we're doing first and when it can roll out."

Robertson said there is still inventory in the system to work through, and as it does, HarvestMark will appear on more items. Representatives from Sun World plan to be at HarvestMark's booth at United Fresh 2009 in Las Vegas, April 21-24, to demonstrate its use of the traceability system.