The California Department of Food and Agriculture has certified the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, which would establish an inspection program for handlers of leafy greens. Certification came after sign-ups by handlers representing 70 percent of leafy greens produced in California.
This agreement will require handlers of leafy greens produce, which includes spinach and 12 other commodities, to accept produce only from those growers that follow specific food safety procedures. The state of California will oversee and enforce the agreement. State-authorized inspectors will certify that procedures are being observed, and a certification seal will be designated and affixed to product to confirm compliance with the agreement.
With certification, the next steps in the process are appointment of marketing agreement board members by the CDFA secretary and the scheduling of the board’s first meeting.
Western Growers officials applauded the certification as another important step in the fresh produce industry’s efforts to enhance food safety and regain consumer confidence.