What’s Your Policy on Insurance

Food Logistics Magazine ran an interesting article by Robert D. Chesler of the law firm of Lowenstein Sandler titled “Understanding Your Food Recall Insurance Policy”.  I thought that managing my car and auto insurance was tricky but it’s nothing compared to the complexities that Chesler discusses in the article where he writes “…the food industry can expect that liability arising out of contaminated food will continue to grow.”  The increasing number of food recalls – and the associated liability – has created new types of insurance beyond just general liability.  Insurance companies are now offering first and third party recall policies. Chesler explains: First-party policies provide coverage for the insured’s own economic loss incurred as a result of a recall. Third-party coverage applies to economic loss incurred by customers.  He points out that companies across the supply chain should revisit both their policies and their liability limits in light of new regulations.  No doubt a good idea.

What’s Your Policy on Insurance?

Implementing a rock-solid traceability program in place can also help alleviate risk.  Having rapid access to the history and condition of products as they move throughout the supply chain can help identify where potential food safety issues may exist (e.g. pallets of produce left in the sun on a loading dock for an extended period of time). It can also help speed recalls and get potentially tainted products out of the supply chain more quickly.

Dr. John Ryan also wrote about food safety issues in a recent article “International Food Safety: The Importance of Temperature Monitoring:”.  Click here to download your copy of his article.

As evidenced by the recent bankruptcy of Colorado cantaloupe farmer Jensen Farms relating to the listeria outbreak, even insurance won’t protect against the worst circumstances. This unfortunate occurrence, however, highlights the need to proactively manage your cold chain and documenting the quality of delivery of fresh, frozen and packaged foods.

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing


Re:Fresh(ing) Perspectives from the UK Produce Industry

Yesterday I was fortunate to attend the Re:Fresh Conference in London, England.  Re:Fresh is all about produce but this conference was more about marketing rather than growing produce and had speakers representing distributors, supermarkets and food service providers. The title for the conference was “Innovation – It’s Your Future” and the keynote speaker was a minister from the Chinese government who spoke about global trade opportunities for produce.

Re:Fresh 2012 – A Representative from a Supermarket Chain Shares a Video About Quality

Beyond innovation, however, the theme was QUALITY.  Everyone is focused on ensuring that customers – whether they’re at a grocery store or a restaurant – get the very highest quality and freshest fruits and veggies.  What was left unsaid, however, is how to accomplish that.  While there’s also a lot of focus on the “grown in the UK brand” I was told that 10% of veggies and 50% of fruits are still imported into the UK. I spoke with an executive from a major UK supermarket chain and asked him about the role fruit and veggie quality played in their brand.  His response: it’s critical.  I asked how they monitor and ensure that they can deliver this high-level of quality.  His response was interesting.  He said that they look at the product and, if it looks bad, they toss it.  He then added that they know the weakest link is their cold chain.

We know that visual inspection alone won’t ensure delivering fresh, high-quality produce as you can’t tell the remaining shelf life or freshness from looking at a product but, with temperature monitoring from the field to the fork, you can help ensure the quality and delivered freshness of fruits, salads and veggies.  Sounds like innovation – with on-demand temperature monitoring – should be a key theme to helping ensure delivered quality.

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing

Leading the Search for Actionable Data

Earlier this week we went to Testarossa Winery in the hills above Silicon Valley for a celebratory sales dinner.  As our bus winded up the mountain road, we were greeted by a sign to welcome us and another group who apparently also had an event at the winery that night.  OK, we were the smaller of the two companies having events at the winery that night, but we found the sign a really interesting because it offered a clear choice.

Intelleflex VP of Sales Craig Smith points the way to Actionable Data

Feeling Lucky?  Or do you need Actionable Data?  You can certainly find lots of interesting historical  information by Googling stuff online but you won’t find actionable data  about the condition of your products that enables you to make informed decisions to improve your supply chain.  (Try Googling “Are my berries fresh?” and you’ll see my point.)  Fortunately, with Intelleflex condition monitoring readers and tags  and our ZEST Data Services, you can now collect, aggregate and securely share that information about the condition of your fresh produce or temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals on-demand.

The choice on the right in the photo still offers value because you can learn more about Actionable Data by Googling Intelleflex!

Dinner was great by the way and our thanks to Testarossa.

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing

How Many Calories Is That? Quick Thoughts From United Fresh

This year’s United Fresh trade show is in Dallas and being held in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and American Meat Institute (AMI) events.  As a result, there is ample opportunity for show attendees to sample and graze on the exhibit floor. The free lunch spans from noon to 5pm and includes chicken and cheese chimichangas, a variety of freezer case grocery store pizzas, meat free mushroom burgers and hot dogs along with chinese chicken salad and anti-oxidant heavy cherry juice.  Then comes dessert.  Well, this is when it gets really exciting.

How Many Calories is That?

How about a giant Oreo cookie?  (Pardon the blurriness of the photo but I could hardly contain my excitement.)  Yes, the giant Oreo was making its rounds at the show.

All kidding aside, what makes this show different from the annual Produce Marketing Association show is that, because it’s being held in conjunction with FMI and AMI, we have people coming to our stand asking about temperature monitoring for things other than produce.  Can you track chicken or seafood?  How about frozen foods?  Yes, we can!  In fact, we have several projects underway involving those types of food.

If you’re at United Fresh/FMI/AMI this week, please swing by the Intelleflex booth (#10419) and you can join me on today’s quest: to have my picture taken with the giant Coca Cola Polar Bear!


Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing