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The Risk Of Poor Inventory Control (PTI and FSMA)

Produce is an important part of the food supply around the world. Unfortunately, if produce is not handled the right way it can lead to some serious issues. Consider the recent lawsuit involving Albert’s Organics, Green Earth Produce Trading, and the Mediterranean Shipping Company. Albert’s filed a case in U.S. District Court asking for $68,000 in damages after a shipment of mangoes from Peru was rotten when they arrived in the United States.

Mediterranean Shipping: A Lesson About Produce Inventory Control

The situation faced by the Mediterranean Shipping Company is a good example of the risk of poor produce inventory control and how even things outside of the control of the farm can still be a big problem for growers. And even though this year alone, the company has faced eight different lawsuits for improperly storing produce that they were shipping to various destinations. The effects go beyond just the shipping company. When the produce is bad everyone is affected, including the farmers and growers.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company has faced nearly $300,000 in lawsuits this year because of a failure to properly control produce that they were responsible for shipping. Companies that are going to be handling temperature-sensitive goods must understand the right way to store these goods. The risk of poor produce inventory control extends beyond a single lawsuit or incident. The reputation of companies involved in multiple lawsuits, such as the Mediterranean Shipping Company, is damaged irrevocably. With such a checkered history of food shipping, these organizations may have trouble securing contracts from other food companies that need their goods shipped long distances.

How To Manage The Risk Of Poor Produce Inventory Control

In order for distribution and shipping companies to ensure that they are handling produce in a way that keeps it as fresh as possible, they need to follow several important guidelines:

  • Be sure that all procedures for shipping are documented and understood by the relevant workers. The company that is shipping the goods should provide the shipper with all of the information necessary to safely ship the goods; it is the responsibility of the shipper to disseminate this information the right way

  • Make sure shipments are properly labeled and inventoried. Everyone that is going to be handling or involved with produce shipment transit should understand what the shipment is, where it is going, and when it needs to get there in order to stay as fresh as possible

  • Use technological tools to your advantage: technology in the shipping world is making agricultural and shipping workers much more efficient. Using computer tracking and digital scanning systems you can make it less of a challenge to track shipments, which helps them get out more quickly

Above all, shippers and their customers need to work together and understand that shipping produce on time is a team effort. No organization wants to be involved in a situation like The Mediterranean Shipping Company currently finds itself in; everyone loses when produce shipments do not reach their intended destination on time. Avoid these challenges and manage the risk of poor produce inventory control by paying careful attention to produce shipments and making sure that all best practices for shipping produce are followed so that these products can reach the right consumers at the right time.

To learn more about the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and PTI software solutions or to schedule a demo, please contact us. We would love to help!

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