Amazon Produce Network Increases Efficiency and Visibility by Streamlining Supplier Management
Sparked by the idea to provide mangoes year-round to the United States, the founders of Amazon Produce Network launched their company in 2000. Now the largest importer and distributor of mangoes in the United States, the company provides coast-to-coast distribution with offices in New Jersey, Texas and California. Built on the business values of total transparency and being the stewards of their growers’ products, Amazon’s customers include Whole Foods Market, Del Monte, Costco, Kroger, Meijer, Safeway, and Sam’s Club.
Amazon’s first interaction with Trustwell was as a produce supplier entering information into Whole Foods Market’s supplier management portal powered by FoodLogiQ Compliance. To be a trading partner with Whole Foods, Amazon Produce Network was required to enter data about their produce and upload certifications into the platform.
Managing complex global supply chain demands requires deep industry knowledge coupled with the right technology. Amazon addressed these changing market conditions by hiring Javier Leon, their first full-time food safety professional in 2014. With extensive food industry experience, Leon stepped into the role of Grower Compliance and Marketing.
In addition to the supplier requirements for Whole Foods, Leon recognized there were also food safety measures that Amazon needed to provide to other major customers and retailers. It soon became apparent that implementing Trustwell’s supplier engagement product, FoodLogiQ Compliance, could streamline Amazon’s processes and help to create overall supply chain visibility for their brand.
Amazon Produce collects and manages a variety of documents, not only requirements for their growers but also required documentation provided to their customers. This includes GFSI standard level audits and other global certificates such as the location where the produce is grown, the quality of the transportation as well as social responsibility audits such as from Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance.
“Amazon’s policy is to work with only growers who have been audited to a GFSI benchmarked standard,” said Javier Leon. “After we started gathering and reviewing the documentation, we realized that there were some growers that were not compliant with the Produce Traceability Initiative.”
“We came in contact with FoodLogiQ because of their work with Whole Foods and thought the platform was sleek and could house all of our documents, certificates and audits from down the supply chain to our growers as well as share the required documentation forward to our customers.”
By utilizing Trustwell Connect, it now only takes a few clicks to access all of Amazon’s documents. The dashboard reminds Amazon when certificates are going to expire which supports proactive compliance. Reports are generated not only for the food safety department but shared with other stakeholders within Amazon. Their growers have also embraced this supplier management process because it provides the business requirements upfront plus saves them time.
“I was empowered by Amazon’s upper management to design and configure Trustwell Connect the way I thought would be best for Amazon and our customers.” said Leon. “I am a true believer in Trustwell Connect; the time saved managing documentation is now spent on strategic initiatives to grow the company.”
Leon continues, “Trustwell has taken our suggestions and incorporated them into the platform. I notice continual improvements and as a customer, that means a lot.”