Dear Valued Supplier:
SYSCO’s extensive produce quality assurance staff has been the leader in developing food safety programs for SYSCO Branded Produce products. Field and facility audits, ranch inspections, traceability requirements and enforcing high quality standards have been the normal activities for this department. These activities have focused on protecting the SYSCO Branded Products. To help ensure food safety and maintain our customer’s confidence, we must implement Food Safety programs that will include all ready to eat produce products, distributed by SYSCO/FreshPoint Operating Companies.
SYSCO Quality Assurance is introducing an innovative food safety program in produce. The program will focus our efforts in two areas; Good Agricultural Practices and Harvest Crew third party audits on all ready to eat fresh produce items packed in SYSCO Brand or Packer and development of a database that will allow SYSCO QA to monitor and document compliance to the new approved requirements. Future benefits of the database will include generation of a list of approved suppliers from whom our operating companies will be authorized to purchase ready to eat produce products. Some of the details of the program are as follows:
In the event you the supplier need technical support while navigating through the Primus website, or if you have any related questions concerning the Primus website, you may contact:
- Annual Third-Party Good Agricultural Practices Ranch Audit and Harvest Crew Audit will be required for each ranch that will produce ready to eat fresh produce products; this would include but not be limited to lettuce, broccoli, celery, tomatoes, grapes, herbs, green onions, bell peppers and berries. It would not include orchard fruit, root crops, nuts and other produce crops normally cooked prior to consumption for example: potatoes, squash, egg plant, asparagus, almonds, apples and yellow onions. This requirement would extend to ALL products that are sold through and distributed by SYSCO Operating Companies, regardless of brand or label.
- Every audit will be entered and housed in a secure internet database managed by Primuslabs.com. It is
not necessary to use Primuslabs.com as your Third-Party Audit agency to participate. You may use any of the approved Independent Third Party Auditing Agencies approved by SYSCO. (For a complete list of approved Independent Third Party Auditing Agencies and minimum acceptable score criteria’s, please refer to Appendix 1). Grower/shippers, brokers, farmers, and other suppliers will be able to link their purchases downstream to the ranch and to the sales made to SYSCO via the database allowing for complete traceability from the field to SYSCO distribution. The database will then provide an approved purchase list, by product, for
Baugh Supply Chain Cooperative (BSCC) and SYSCO companies
indicating which supplier is in compliance with this requirement. In order to protect and assure all
information submitted within this secured website is held in the strictest of confidence,
each supplier will be assigned their own username and password.
- SYSCO supports and enforces all current requirements set forth by the California Marketing Agreement with higher standards in the areas pertaining to water quality and ATP Bioluminescence testing. SYSCO’s Microbiological Standards concerning water quality for all potentially ready to eat produce, in all growing regions and locations, Pre and Post Harvest Contact/Foliar applications are E.Coli < 1.1 MPN/100ml as apposed to the current California Marketing agreement stating Generic E-Coli less than or equal to 126 MPN/100ML for Foliar Applications. In addition to strict water requirements, SYSCO also requires that suppliers perform and participate in weekly Bioluminescence testing performed within all production locations/facilities and all field harvesting equipment. The program must identify monitoring methods, sampling plan, frequency of tests performed, acceptable limits and corrective actions taken when limits are exceeded.
- All completed Third Party GAP audits for Calendar Years 2006 and 2007 should be entered into the audit system no later than September 15th 2007. All audits will then be required to be downloaded into the database annually in order to ensure compliance.
- All SYSCO Branded Cartons will continue to be marked by a seven digit Julian Code Dating system. For example:
00= Supplier ID
000= Julian Date of Calendar Year
0 = Crew/Ranch/Harvest/machine number
0 = Area of growing Production 1=Salinas, 2=Yuma, 3=Huron, CA, 4= Oxnard, CA, 5= Santa Maria, CA
All non Branded cases/items/packages will be required to contain all pertinent information allowing for full and complete traceability from the finished product case/carton/bag back to the field. Suppliers may devise their own method of code dating but must keep in mind that all pertinent information allowing for complete and thorough traceability to the field be provided and legible within all cases/items/packages.
SYSCO Quality Assurance realizes that it is going to take time to load these audits and for the audits to be functional in the Primus Web base system. We would like for you to register and log onto the website by no later than July 15th, 2007. The next milestone and requirement would be for you to have your website up and running with complete audits downloaded into the website no later than September 15th, 2007. As we move forward in food safety in the food service industry we have to be aware of the vulnerability of our sales and continue to protect our customers. We have learned that if one company has a problem, then everyone in the industry is impacted. Support of this program would be appreciated. If there are any specific questions concerning the SYSCO GAP Program, please feel free to contact the following individuals below:
Saul Morales, Sr. Manager of Quality Assurance, (831) 759-3352
Dave Podesta, Regional Manager of Quality Assurance (623) 907-6920
Shane Sampels, Director of Quality Assurance, (281) 584 1313
Vice President, Produce
Vice President, Quality Assurance & Agricultural Sustainability