OUR TOP 10 SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL PERISHABLE HANDLING
1. Know your grower! If using contract growers, you should have a good working relationship with them, and be aware of their food safety program and practices. 2. Ensure that you always have access to your grower’s facility for inspection relative to food safety. 3. You must have a food safety program within your own facility - this is paramount. 4. Use proper packaging for the commodity - treat packaging as if it were food, as it will be used to hold and ship your commodity: keep it clean, covered and properly stored. 5. Properly pack, pre-cool, and maintain all products at correct temperature prior to shipping and while in transit. 6. Have all documentation completed 100% accurately prior to shipments leaving the facility. 7. Know your shipping partner - are they qualified to handle your product logistically? Are their trucks clean and cold? Are they experienced in perishable transport? 8. If you are importing, know your broker - have a solid point of contact person within the broker's office - know them well and foster this critical relationship! 9. Know the ETA of your shipment at destination and monitor the progress - be it via air, rail or truck, domestic or international - monitor you shipments! 10. Follow up on shipment arrival through to the end user - do not wait for anyone else to inform them that their shipment is available or in distress. Put in the extra effort! Communication is key - any issues MUST be communicated directly to the end recipient. Bad news is better than no news; OVER-communicate!
REMEMBER THE 3 C’s: Coordinate – Communicate – Control.