GR Fresh Launches Produce Box Initiative to Help Farmers and Consumers
MCALLEN, TX - Across the supply chain, companies are facing today’s particular challenges with renewed resilience and community-oriented initiatives. GR Fresh is one of many on the supply-side ensuring that both its employee team and its local community are well taken care of as COVID-19 continues to develop.
Externally, the grower is distributing healthy food to the doctors and nurses fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic and to consumers via a produce box initiative. Internally, GR Fresh has implemented proper safety procedures in order to keep its staff safe with the necessary equipment to do so. I chatted with Luis Jorge Villalobos and Montserrat Segura to learn more about GR Fresh’s latest efforts.
“Our produce box initiative is about connecting farmers with consumers directly. We’d like to be the bridge for farmers to continue to provide affordable fresh produce to consumers so that we can keep the supply chain going,” Luis shared. “Farmers are the most essential part of the supply chain and they rarely get any credit for their effort. Connecting these farmers with consumers allows them to keep working the ground and providing fresh produce to those in need. At GR Fresh, we think true leadership is understanding the importance farmers have on the whole cycle and trying to help them as much as possible.”
As part of this produce box initiative, GR Fresh is supplying its community with fresh produce via an affordable and convenient market that offers a curbside pickup service as a solution to social distancing protocols.
“We’re trying to provide a long-term sustainable solution for farmers to still place their product on the market because our industry’s supply chain begins with them. Farmers are the most fundamental part of it. They may not have the resources to offer their products directly to consumers, so that piece of the puzzle is one GR Fresh is trying to solve with our produce box initiative,” Luis explained.
Efforts like its produce box initiative only further exemplify GR Fresh’s leadership in the industry and its perspective on social responsibility—which extends to how the company operates its team.
“We have fed our communities for 70 years now, and we have done this by holding strict, high standards on our safety and sustainability practices. We start by taking care of our people and implementing the safety procedures necessary to keep our staff safe,” Luis noted. “Montserrat and our Food Safety Team have worked very hard to detect specific risks derived from the COVID-19 contingency, while proposing concrete actions, in order to propose alternative solutions and a reduction in the face of said risks, so that we can rely on actionable protocols to protect our team and our consumers.”
By Montserrat’s count, this has included implementing 26 preventive measures across GR Fresh’s facilities, in addition to designing a mitigation plan to propose quick and immediate solutions to the identified risks. However, GR Fresh has long had policies in place to ensure it can distribute healthy and quality food to consumers while maintaining and respecting safety rules and regulations.
“We are in unprecedented times, where continuing to operate and safeguard our employees and products is a business scheme that requires optimizing our resources and focusing our efforts intelligently,” added Montserrat. “At GR Fresh, we are ensuring that our food production and distribution are free of health risks with maximum quality control. By developing and adopting a Contingency Plant that allows GR Fresh facilities and collaborators to be kept free from the risk of COVID-19, we are able to continue offering the best service and quality in the vegetable distribution chain—for the American consumer and for the benefit of all of our business members.”
Thank you to leaders like GR Fresh for their outstanding work in helping the industry stay strong during these uncertain times. For more fresh produce news, keep reading AndNowUKnow.