Media Contacts: Scott Horsfall, CEO, Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, (916) 441-1240, Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462
LGMA Members Will Use the Mark on Bills of Lading
SACRAMENTO, July 19, 2007 – Beginning July 23, members of the California Leafy Greens Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA) can begin using a newly-released service mark that certifies their membership in the program. The Service Mark, to be used on bills of lading, indicates a handler’s commitment to a set of Good Agricultural Practices audited by the LGMA. The mark is being released to coincide with the beginning of certification audits conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s USDA-trained inspectors. To view the Service Mark click here.
“The service mark reflects a handler’s commitment to implementing enhanced food safety standards,” said Tom Nunes, Chairman of the LGMA’s communications committee and a member of the organization’s board of directors. “By using it on their bills of lading, our signatories will be communicating to customers that they are members in good standing of the LGMA.”
According to LGMA CEO Scott Horsfall, the organization’s members can begin using the mark beginning July 23rd, and use of the service mark will become mandatory on September 1, 2007. “Using the service mark communicates that a handler is in compliance with the marketing agreement, which means they are producing and marketing lettuce, spinach and other leafy green products in California according to the enhanced Good Agricultural Practices accepted by our board.” Violations of the marketing agreement can result in a handler losing the right to use the Service Mark.
The Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement was formed in response to the E. coli outbreak that was linked to California spinach last year. The marketing agreement represents approximately 99 percent of the leafy greens industry in California, and requires of signatories that they implement and maintain the highest standards of safety in growing and handling spinach, lettuce and other leafy greens.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture protects and promotes California’s $31.8 billion agricultural industry. California’s farmers and ranchers produce a safe, secure supply of food, fiber and shelter; marketed fairly for all Californians; and produced with responsible environmental stewardship.