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FoodLink, an online buying platform for fresh food retailers and wholesalers, has created a strategic partnership with RJO Produce, a provider of key performance drivers of select produce categories, to enable retail buyers to access real-time produce inspection data over the FoodLink network.
Using a proprietary, patent pending system on mobile devices, RJO inspectors provide detailed analysis and high-resolution pictures at the time of shipment. Information is automatically uploaded to the FoodLink network and available for review by the retail buyers to make decisions prior to receiving products, and to ensure they have the highest quality and freshest produce available for their customers.
“Our partnership with RJO Produce is great for our customers, and it demonstrates how FoodLink is becoming a true platform for the fresh food supply chain,” said Eric Peters, CEO, Los Gatos, Calif.-based FoodLink. “The combination of highly reputable on-site inspection services and FoodLink’s real-time commerce network means that retailers can now see what they are getting on every load before it arrives, enabling better management of the overall supply chain and the safest, freshest food for consumers.”
The FoodLink network handles more than $10 billion in annual commerce and includes in its membership more than 2,000 fresh food suppliers, brokers and transportation carriers. It was developed to be an “open platform” capable of tying all relevant supply chain and procurement data directly to purchase orders (POs) and subsequent audit trails.
By leveraging new FoodLink network APIs to route data and alerts, RJO Produce provides essential services to major retail and wholesale buyers. FoodLink customers include Ahold USA, Associated Wholesale Grocers, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Unified Grocers, Topco & Associates and Supervalu, as well as major regional grocers such as Giant Eagle, K-VA-T Food Stores, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Roundy’s Supermarkets and United Supermarkets.
“Our relationship with FoodLink and our ability to use the open network to provide a direct channel to important fresh food buyers is truly a best practice,” said Rob O’Rourke, co-owner, RJO Produce. “We no longer hassle with emails or faxes, and we know the buyers are able to easily use the information we provide, which enables our customers to deliver the best, most consistent quality fruit to their consumers. This is just the beginning of how we will use platforms like FoodLink to continue to evolve and enhance the fresh produce supply chain," added O'Rourke.