CEA Food Safety Coalition Announces New Members
WASHINGTON, DC - The CEA Food Safety Coalition has announced that it will be expanding its membership and efforts of the CEA leafy greens sector. The independent and member-governed organization includes members that span the entirety of the leafy greens category. With the addition of 15 new companies, the total number of members will now stand at 21 stakeholders.
“Our Coalition represents the entire CEA leafy greens sector, across production practices, sizes, and geographies. Our work is only as good as our members, and we’re thrilled to represent such a significant portion of the CEA leafy greens sector. Together, we can work on pre-competitive issues such as food safety, and ensure our sector is understood by consumers, retailers, and regulators,” said Marni Karlin, Executive Director of the CEA Food Safety Coalition.
The latest companies to join the coalition include Clear Water Farms, DeGoede Farms, Eden Glory, Element Farms, Farm.One, Gotham Greens, Green Life Farms, Livingston Farms, PathSensors, Planted Detroit, Pure Green Farms, Sensei Ag, Square Roots, Vertical Field, and Vertical Roots, according to a press release. Growers, turnkey solutions providers, and suppliers of inputs, equipment, and technology who become members of the organization allow external audits on their production processes.
“The Coalition’s members collaborate by establishing standards and sharing insights to protect consumers,” said Founder and Chairman Paul Lightfoot. “The more members, the safer the industry, so I’m thrilled that all the major players in our space have joined the Coalition.”
As the coalition continues to expand, one of the main goals continues to be forming strong food safety standards for controlled environment production of leafy greens. The CEA is also focusing on educating consumers and regulators on controlled environment growing as well as the value of controlled environment growing to the agricultural industry.
“Along with the growth of the CEA leafy greens industry comes the need to evaluate food safety risks specific to these commodities,” said Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Vice President of Food Safety and Technology at United Fresh Produce Association. “The Coalition is playing a critical role in convening the industry and facilitating these discussions, and United Fresh Produce Association is pleased to contribute to this public health-focused effort.”
Later this year, the CEA plans to release a uniform set of criteria that will support the usage of the “no need to wash” label by coalition members. Additionally, the organization plans on launching CEA-specific food safety metrics that members can utilize in addition to the already required external audits.
“CEA leafy greens producers do things a little differently, which creates unique opportunities to develop CEA-specific approaches to food safety and no need to wash labeling. Coalition members are working together to develop science-based approaches to these topics, and we’re excited to share our work later this year,” added Karlin.
As food safety continues to remain front and center across the produce industry, CEA encourages new members to join the coalition, and will continue to evolve its food safety standards. What new steps will the organization take to protect produce? Keep a tab open for ANUK for updates.