Riveridge now has two full-time employees focused on Food Safety with the addition of Theresa Badgerow late last year.
Theresa recently joined Riveridge to help support Food Safety.
Riveridge prides itself on its current Food Safety practices including the traceability from the orchard to the picker to the packing facility. Due to some high-profile mishandled produce that’s been in the national news recently, today’s savvy consumers want even more reassurance their food is handled the best way possible.
Theresa’s main role will be to oversee good manufacturing processes. She will check in on growers, helping them with their audits and making sure the Packing facilities are using best practices. Official Food Safety regulations may change over time, but Theresa is committed to making sure Riveridge is ahead of the game.
Her day-to-day role will be maintaining all logs and ensuring everything is up to date and prioritizing those needs. This includes scheduled walk throughs at Riveridge Packing to make sure cleaning is done properly and even the small things like smocks and IDs are worn. Incentives for those exhibiting consistent Good Manufacturing Process practices are a new initiative for individuals at Riveridge Packing, rewarding those who go above and beyond.
Each bin of apples on a Riveridge Land Company farm is traceable right down to the picker.
Theresa has a vested interest in the apple industry. She married into a grower partner family of Riveridge and is already making an impact in her new role. Theresa recently took over supervision of the sanitation crew at Riveridge Packing and instituted new quarterly check ins to review corrective actions.
We are more than happy to provide information about our practices and invite you for a tour to see how our fruit goes from the tree to your store safely.
Thanks to the Grand Rapids location of this year’s International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) conference, attendees will have the opportunity to tour West Michigan-area orchards including recent V-trellis system apple tree plantings by Riveridge Land Company.
V-trellis system planting at the Grant Farm.
Riveridge Land Company Operations Manager Justin Finkler will be part of a four-person panel on Saturday, Feb. 6 discussing Optimized Training Systems for Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp. Justin will be sharing details on vertical and V-trellis system plantings from the Grant, Michigan farm.
Information will include goals of V-trellis systems, start-up costs, land prep, nutrition, training techniques and growth to date along with imagery of one- and two-year established V-trellis systems. A comparison to Vertical trellis systems will also be included.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, IFTA attendees have an opportunity to see first-hand the one-year and two-year V-trellis system growth at the Riveridge Land Company Farm in Grant, Mich. The Grant location will be part of a multi-stop tour of orchards in the Ridge area north of Grand Rapids.
While the V-trellis system for apple tree plantings has long been established in other parts of world, namely Washington state, Riveridge Land Company is the first to bring the technique for apples to Michigan.
Benefits of the growing system include increased yields, higher color, better pack outs and easier pruning, thinning and picking management. While Riveridge Land Company V-trellis system program is only going into its third leaf, the trees have taken well and more plantings are planned for 2016.