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Our company, IMPORT GC Group, takes great pride in our standards of excellence set for Food Safety. Requirements are set, monitored and managed for each stage leading to consumption. Our Packing Facilities have been BRC and/or IFS accredited among others.

The Principles regulate activities and practices involving:

▪ Food Safety Standards for Fresh Produce — Prevention of contamination is preferred to elimination after the fact. Documentation of a prevention planning program, contamination handling procedures and complete program training is needed.

▪ Crop Production Water — Test and monitor all water sources that come in contact with the plant or product are from a pathogen free source.

▪ Minimizing Animal Fecal Contamination — It is not possible, or may not be permissible, to eliminate all animal influences from production fields. However, steps to minimize their presence or activities should be determined. Domestic animals are prohibited, document and determine methods to minimize all attractants.

▪ Worker Health and Hygiene — There is no substitute for awareness, training, and constant reinforcement of the importance of personal hygiene and sanitation as critical to sustainable business and employment.

▪ Field and Harvest Sanitation — All surfaces and implements that touch fresh produce must be treated as food contact surfaces. Establish, document and train a program to clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces.

▪ Packing Facilities — Well designed and operated centralized packing facilities and packing systems have the potential to contribute to the reduction of pathogen contamination. All packing facilities are certified by BRC and/or IFS.

▪ Post Harvest Water during Packing — The quality of post harvest water that contacts fresh produce during cleaning, grading, cooling, and application of surface treatments is widely recognized as the essential control point for fresh produce.

▪ Principles for Transportation — Limited control is possible beyond the shipping dock, but the consequences of cross contamination during transportation and distribution will find a direct link back to the handler and grower. Shippers must inspect all vehicles for cleanliness and safety and only hire those who also adhere to strict standards for Global Responsibility.

▪ Storage and Distribution — Mixed storage and mixed load distribution has the potential to transfer contamination from one lot or product to a previously non-contaminated produce item, especially where pallet-stacking, ice injection, or top-icing is involved. Storages must observe the same stringent practices for food safety and contamination prevention.

▪ Quality Assurance Team — Our QA team visits the growing area to evaluate the raw materials grown there. They compare these to others from various regions and determine the most ideal growing location; before the start of each harvest, our QA team compiles lot code specific data from internal reviews, field reports, pesticide analysis results, and customer feedback. Lot codes are traced back to the grower and the region, and this information becomes a critical part of grower selection for the upcoming year; our QA trains our partner facilities on IMPORT GC Group organoleptic standards for characteristics such as color, texture and size and evaluates processes on-site and makes adjustments when necessary to improve quality and efficiency. We understand that our customers have a diverse range of applications for our products, so we carefully analyze and select the packaging and packing medium options that best showcase the natural characteristics of the finished product. We ensure that every item arrives to you safe, sturdy, and easy to handle and store, allowing each product to maintain excellent quality throughout its full shelf life.

▪ Sustainability — IMPORT GC Group embraces sustainability and biodiversity on all levels by working with growers who respect the land they cultivate; this means regular crop rotation, appropriate acreage density, conscientious irrigation and hands-on care. We were the first supplier in the olive industry to switch from large heavy industrial plastic kegs to lightweight vacuum-packed bags. This led to an 80% reduction in the amount of plastic used and a 10% increase in product volume per container.