Mile High Quality Assurance
In a recent move, our growers recently voted unanimously to keep both state-and Federal inspections for Colorado Potatoes. They had a choice and made one that certainly costs them more, but most definitely not cost them their customers!
Implemented by the The Fruit & Vegetable Inspection Service of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), this service provides independent, third party certification of a commodity's quality anytime within the marketing chain. The program's staff annually inspects more than 2.1 billion pounds of produce from Colorado, a large part of it being potatoes. Annually, more than 10,000 requests for shipping point and terminal market inspections are processed statewide, utilizing up to 44 Federal/State Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel during peak shipments.
Colorado Potato Growers participate in one or more of a three-phase inspection system:
1. Shipping Point Inspections
This process certifies adherence to U.S. Grade Standards, and/or applicant supplied contract specifications. All Colorado Potatoes are required by statute and federal and state marketing orders to be inspected prior to shipment.
2. Terminal Market Inspections
This service allows for applicants request an inspection on commodities that have been received from a different production area. This works well for Colorado shippers who are arranging mixed loads of multiple commodities for their customers.
3. Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices Audit Verification
This service is an audit based verification program to minimize microbial food safety hazards. This program's personnel review a participating company's facility and agronomic practices, along with its documented procedures, to help determine if "Good Agricultural Practices" and "Good Handling Practices" are maintained.