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Some industry partners are already a step ahead when it comes to improving communication about food safety. Robinson Fresh, a division of Eden Prairie, Minn.-based third-party logistics provider C.H. Robinson that specifically focuses on fresh produce sourcing, has been helping its retail customers gain more supply chain visibility, according to Megan Arnold, director of food safety. “At Robinson Fresh, we offer our customers access to the suppliers, as well as food safety certification status, either via a web-based system or reporting on a scheduled basis,” she says.
Arnold believes that FSMA will ultimately create more confidence in the supply chain. For retailers, “the scope will help reduce some of the current risks associated with smaller suppliers, including local suppliers and foreign producers,” she notes. “Grocers will begin to require third-party food safety documents from suppliers throughout the supply chain. In time, there should begin to be a decline in product recalls.”
That was certainly the hope of the lawmakers who developed FSMA — and if the legislation helps the industry cut down dramatically on food safety scares, all retailers will rest a little easier.