Food Safety

Cultivating people and delighting consumers is something we’ve always done here at Stemilt. Food safety has always been our top priority, but formally since the 1990s. Becoming SQF certified before it was a requirement was important to us because we believe in transparency and doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.

On this page, we invite you to meet our food safety, team and read more about the certifications that our company has met. You can also download current certifications for your own documentation process.

Darcey Brown

Food Safety & Environmental Compliance

Darcey.Brown@Stemilt.com

Darcey has over 30 years of experience working for Stemilt, which has resulted in an intimate knowledge of all things production related.

  • Point person on warehouse GMP enforcement
  • Environmental compliance – runoff, wastewater compliance
  • Tracks and organizes company-wide food safety training
  • Liaison between Stemilt and local regulatory agencies
  • Critical insight on relationship between production and food safety

Melissa Gonzalez

Field Food Safety Specialist

Melissa.Gonzalez@Stemilt.com

A faithful and devoted Stemilt team member since 2014, Melissa is bilingual and a resident expert when it comes to orchard and harvest activity compliance.

  • Field food safety compliance
  • Internal and 3rd party audits
  • Water systems management and spray application oversight
  • Providing solutions and realistic troubleshooting around corrective actions
  • Ongoing grower relations – working with fieldmen to ensure coverage

Lisa Myers

Food Safety & Customer Compliance

Lisa.Myers@Stemilt.com

Since re-joining the Stemilt team in 2015, Lisa has been the driving force behind customer compliance.

  • Customer compliance – product and packaging specifications and requirements
  • Ethical/Social compliance for retailers
  • Ongoing maintenance of Organic Systems Plan
  • Audit logistics and planning for both field and warehouse(s)
  • Corrective action organization and follow-up
  • Warehouse documentation and record keeping

Bruce Reathaford

Field Food Safety Specialist

Bruce.Reathaford@Stemilt.com

A member of the Stemilt team since 2011, Bruce brings a treasure trove of knowledge to the field side of our program.

  • Field food safety compliance
  • Internal and 3rd party audits
  • Water systems management and spray application oversight
  • Providing solutions and realistic troubleshooting around corrective actions
  • Ongoing grower relations – working with fieldmen to ensure coverage

Certification Programs

Safe Quality Food Institute

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a comprehensive and rigorous food safety program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide. Based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards, it is benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is used by Stemilt to certify our operations both in the field and at the packinghouses. Stemilt operates under the “multi-site” program offered by SQF. In fact, Stemilt was the first multi-site operation certified by SQF in 2000; paving the way for decades of successful food safety compliance and continuous improvement on our ranches in and in our facilities.

Show me all SQF certs

USDA Organic

Stemilt has always been committed to providing an organic option for our customers and has grown to encompass a wide variety of organic choices. Becoming a certified organic handler requires a specific program with detailed protocols that ensure the integrity of the organic product throughout the entire supply chain, beginning with the grower. Stemilt is certified through the Washington State Department of Agriculture, which is benchmarked to the National Organic Program standards. We make sure to verify that all organic growers have current certifications, and that the production operations are prepared to ensure organic product maintains its integrity throughout the process.

Show me all Organic certs

EFI Certification

Stemilt is completely EFI (Equitable Food Initiative) certified; all company ranches and packinghouses have achieved compliance. EFI is a comprehensive and dynamic ethical standard that ensures that an equitable and sustainable food system brings value to all who are involved in the food chain supply – growers, farmworkers, retailers, and consumers.

Show me all EFI certs

Sedex

Stemilt’s packing partners have successfully completed a SMETA audit (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) for their social certification program. SMETA assesses a site based on their organization’s standards of labor, health, safety, environment, and business ethics. These are high quality audits that encompass all aspects of responsible business practices.

Show me partner letters

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service

In order to supply USDA programs, such as schools and institutional facilities, Stemilt has chosen to certify the packinghouses and many fields to the USDA GAP ( Good Agricultural Practices) and GHP ( Good Handling Practices) programs. This voluntary certification verifies an operation’s efforts to minimize the risk of contamination of fresh fruits by microbial pathogens by adhering to generally recognized industry best practices.

Show me USDA certs

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