On behalf of the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, I would like to congratulate the California cantaloupe industry for adopting their new food safety program. The cantaloupe program, which covers the 70% of US-grown cantaloupes produced in California, will now include a food safety certification program that requires inspection to a set of production and handling metrics.
The new program resembles our own in many ways, and we are pleased to see it being adopted by the cantaloupe industry. Five years ago, when we created the LGMA food safety program, we had no idea that we would soon see it used as a model to be followed by many others
Food safety programs like ours, as well as those implemented by the California Tomato farmers, the Arizona leafy greens industry and, now, the California cantaloupe industry, are examples of produce industries stepping forward to change their cultures and to protect public health. As chairman of the LGMA, I’m very happy to welcome the cantaloupe industry to the growing list of produce industries that have taken proactive steps to raise the bar for foods safety and to protect public health. We will be pleased to share what we’ve learned from our five years of verifying food safety practices on the farm with our friends and colleagues in the cantaloupe industry.