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April 13, 2009

Borders Melon Joins HarvestMark's Ranks



Retail customers are looking for enhanced traceability, so Borders Melon Co.is delivering.

The Edinburg, Texas-based company, which is one of the largest growers and distributors of watermelons in North America, began using HarvestMark labels on its melons for the 2009 season.

"We feel that traceability is something that all the chain stores are going to be doing," said Nowell Borders, owner.

Borders said the company began with a trace back program with Lakeland,Fla.-based Publix Super Markets with its Georgia-grown melons and now feels like it will soon be a nationwide necessity.

"We feel like the Costcos and Wal-Marts are going that direction," he said.

HarvestMark, a program by YottaMark Inc., Redwood City, Calif., features a16-digit code that allows customers to go to the HarvestMark Web site and get information about when the melons were picked, packed and shipped.

HarvestMark also is compliant with GS1 standards and the Produce Traceability Initiative and can track down to the item and case level.

According to the National Watermelon Association, about 25% of the total volume of watermelons shipped in 2009 is expected to be shipped with HarvestMark labels.

Borders said the company also had its operations inspected and certified to Global GAP standards, in addition to its audit by Santa Maria, Calif.-basedPrimus-Labs.com.