Food Safety

At Columbia Valley Fruit, we have made food safety our highest priority. In fact, our company was a pioneer of food safety in the fruit industry in Yakima. We were instrumental in establishing and implementing SQF (Safe Quality Food) standards in the Yakima Valley. We make every effort to ensure that the fruit we grow, handle, and ship is of the highest quality, and that it meets or exceeds industry standards.

Ahead of the Curve

In keeping with the tradition of the founders of the company, Columbia Valley Fruit is dedicated to leadership in food safety. We are forerunners in the development of food safety in the tree fruit industry, pioneering the SQF 2000 program, Columbia Valley Fruit prides itself in staying ahead of the curve and continually striving to obtain the highest possible level of food safety certification by following optimum food handling practices.

Food safety is so important to us that we have developed a team that is dedicated to that end. Our Food Safety Team meets regularly and includes an outside food safety consultant who keeps us informed on changes in food safety standards and requirements and safety trends in the industry. In addition, regular audits are conducted at our packing and storage facilities to ensure 100% compliance with food safety and quality requirements.

Our daily emphasis on the highest standards of food safety is evident in ongoing daily checks of every step of the process from the orchard to the shipping dock.

Food Safety Team

Working with Growers

Our commitment to food safety extends to our growers as well. We provide our growers with incentives and assistance in obtaining food safety certification such as Global Gap and Good Agricultural Practices. We offer organizational and consulting assistance as well as internal audits to help our growers earn and maintain their certification.

The requirements our operation must meet in order to earn and maintain our various food safety certifications are voluminous. Here are just a few:

  • Hygiene – All orchard employees are bound to a hygiene program. They cannot eat, smoke, chew gum or wear jewelry in the orchard. Animals are not allowed in the orchard. All visitors to the orchard or our packing facility must first check in and agree to comply with food safety rules.
  • Residue Analysis is conducted on apples from each individual grower to ensure that no unapproved chemicals have been applied.
  • Trace Recall – We must be able to trace fruit from the grower to the marketplace. To do this, we use an automated labeling system that allows us to trace fruit by lot number back to the day it was picked and to the specific block within the orchard where it originated.
  • Foreign Matter Prevention - We isolate and destroy any fruit that inadvertently comes in contact with broken glass of other foreign matter anywhere between the orchard and the shipping dock. For example, if a taillight is broken and the glass comes in contact with a bin of apples, the contents of the entire bin will be destroyed.

Food Safety Practices

Our Certifications

Columbia Valley Fruit has earned and maintains current status on the following food safety and organic certifications:

  • SQF 2000, Level 3 – NCSI Americas Inc - Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System in our fresh produce packing operation. View the SQF Code Edition 7.2 Certificate
  • Global Gap – NCSI Americas Inc. - Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System for growing and production of fresh produce.
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) – USDA Federal-State Audit Program – Fresh Produce Verification Program for our packing facility, storage & transportation, and preventative food defense procedures. View Good Agricultural Practice and Good Handling Practices certificates.

Columbia Valley Fruit
1720 Ahtanum Road
Yakima, Washington 98903

Tel. (509) 452-9891
Fax (509) 452-3650