Gold Circle Case Study - Melissa's/World Variety Produce

Describe your company in your own words, its mission, etc.

Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc. is currently one of the largest distributors of specialty produce in the United States. With over 1,200 items available at any given time, Melissa’s imports and distributes exotic fresh fruits and vegetables from around the globe. Located in the Vernon district of Los Angeles, California, we have 250 employees and are family owned by Joe and Sharon Hernandez.

How does your company make food safety a priority in its operations?

At Melissa's, we realize that one of our most important responsibilities is the preparation and distribution of safe, quality food. When faced with frightening news stories of food borne disease outbreaks, many consumers are left confused and uncertain as to the quality and safety of their food. At Melissa's, we are committed - with the highest degree of certainty - to ensuring our line of premium fresh produce is safe. To achieve this goal, we developed a third party accredited HACCP Based Food Safety Plan, SQF 2000 CODE, Level 2 as a means of protecting the consumer.

Why is food safety important to the entire supply chain?

Food Safety is important to the entire food supply chain to ensure top quality, safe food for all consumers and to eliminate the possibility of any food borne illness.

Why is it important to support programs like PMA’s Gold Circle?

Supporting PMA’s Gold Circle program allows Melissa’s to further the cause of food safety while gaining additional exposure and visibility in the industry.

What value does your company get out of being a Gold Circle contributor?

Melissa’s has been a strong supporter of PMA’s Gold Circle for many years and has supported the Food Safety Initiative since July of 2000 when we first received our HACCP Based Food Safety Plan accreditation. Supporting Gold Circle gives us greater visibility in the produce industry and demonstrates that we support industry initiatives.

What value has your company received from PMA’s resources on food safety?

The value we receive from PMA’s Food Safety Resources is immeasurable. Our Food Safety Team is constantly monitoring communications from PMA pertaining to Food Safety issues, especially those from Dr. Bob Whitaker, videos and webinars. We read PMA’s articles on Food Safety, Produce Traceability Initiative and Product Testing. We are involved in all three programs and are on track to meet the PTI standards and have a produce traceability program in place. We have participated in PMA Food Safety webinars and events at the PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo and PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo.

Why would you encourage other companies to support the PMA Gold Circle program?

It is imperative that companies involved in the produce industry support PMA’s Gold Circle program. The benefits are a tremendous value. Being part of PMA’s Gold Circle keeps Melissa’s on the leading edge of Food Safety issues and initiatives.


Amy Marshall

Amy Marshall

Membership & Engagement Manager

+1 (302) 607-2108

Email Amy

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PMA Tech Knowledge May 11-13, 2015
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Dr. Max Teplitski - PMA's Chief Science Officer

Dr. Max Teplitski

Chief Science Officer

+1 (302) 607-2194

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VP Produce Safety - Trevor Suslow

Dr. Trevor Suslow

VP, Produce Safety

+1 (530) 304-1257

Email Trevor