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Truitt Bros. Inc., a shelf-stable, custom food manufacturer, has announced that it has received third-party certification for its Oregon-based Special Products processing plant from Food Alliance, a national eco-labeling program that certifies environmentally sound and socially responsible food producers. 

Truitt's Special Products Division uses time-honored food science and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and packaging to create a variety of custom, shelf-stable meals, side dishes, sauces and soups for foodservice customers nationwide. 

The certification is the Salem, Ore.-based food producer's second from Food Alliance. Three years prior, Truitt Bros. received the designation for its cannery operations, highlighting the company's ongoing commitment to sustainable food processing practices. 

Food Alliance certification utilizes a systems approach to food production, examining how practices on the farm and at the processor help reduce negative environmental impacts and contribute to safe and fair working conditions. Through this certification, Truitt Bros. aims to reward the growers they work with for sustainable farming practices while earning more value for their products. 

"Being awarded the Food Alliance certification continues our focus on quality, innovation, and sustainability, which we are very proud of," Peter Truitt, president and co-founder of Truitt Bros., said in a news release. "Our motivation for pursuing Food Alliance certification, however, is not just a feel-good story. We are finding that there is a tremendous amount of demand for sustainably produced food in the foodservice sector and that an independent third-party audit and certification authenticates and legitimizes practices more compellingly than self proclamation." 

Chain chooses sustainable products 

As a case in point, Northwest-based fast casual restaurant Burgerville has selected Truitt Bros. to supply its fresh pumpkin puree for its fall seasonal pumpkin milkshakes and smoothies.

The decision to work with Truitt Bros. goes beyond the superior quality of the product. Burgerville was equally interested in procuring local, sustainably produced pumpkin for its signature shakes. Truitt Bros. developed a pumpkin puree that contains pumpkins sourced from Food Alliance-certified grower Stahlbush Island Farms, located just down the road from Truitt's processing facility. 

"Our guests share our values, which include supporting local farmers and using the freshest seasonal ingredients," said Alison Dennis, director of supply chain, Burgerville. "Having a Food Alliance certified supply chain means we can track our pumpkin puree from our pantry back to the field where that pumpkin was grown. That's important to us." 

To earn Food Alliance certification, Truitt Bros. Special Products systems demonstrated compliance with a comprehensive set of standards set by Food Alliance. Not only does Truitt Bros. carefully select and track foods coming from Food Alliance-certified farms, they also meet standards for their sustainable practices at their processing facility. 

These standards cover a range of environmentally sound and socially equitable practices such as protection of water resources, energy conservation, ensuring safe working conditions and fostering a supportive and respectful work environment. Food Alliance also requires continuous improvement across a full spectrum of environmental and social issues, ensuring that farmers and processors continue to innovate and move their operations towards greater sustainability.

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