Recently, HarvestMark and Coleman Natural Foods, a leading producer of organic and free range poultry, announced the launch of HarvestMark traceability on Petaluma Poultry brands, making Coleman Natural the first national poultry company to use the technology.

Petaluma Poultry was the first USDA Organic approved chicken producer, with chicken that's 100 percent vegetarian fed, humanely raised and free of antibiotics, added hormones, preservatives, artificial flavorings or colors. Now, consumers can trace their chicken back to which farm it grew up on and learn about the farmers who raised it. NewHope360 interviewed Mike Leventini, president of Petaluma Poultry, to see why the company integrated HarvestMark with its products' packaging.

NewHope360: Why is traceability important to Coleman Natural Foods? 

Mike Leventini: Traceability is woven into every process at Petaluma Poultry. As the first USDA approved organic chicken producer, we have been tracing our products from egg to store shelf for over 40 years. Beyond any food safety issues, we think it is important for consumers to understand who we are and what we do to provide them with great tasting premium quality chicken, including where it comes from and who produces it. We think HarvestMark gives us another vehicle to tell our story.

NewHope360: How did you first learn about HarvestMark and what excited you to integrate the service into your products?

ML: We were contacted by HarvestMark about their unique service and we felt it was another effective way to get our message out to our customers and the consumers we both serve.

NewHope360: When a consumer traces one of your chicken products, what information do they see?

ML: They can learn about our company; the independent farm families that provide us with great products; farmers who are committed to doing things the right, natural way with respect for our planet and the chickens in their care; and our commitment to sustainability. They can also link to our website for more information.

NewHope360: How are you telling consumers about this new traceability feature?

ML: We are using in-store signage and on-pack messaging to reach consumers as well as our website.

NewHope360: How will you use the consumer information that HarvestMark gives you to improve your business?

ML: We are looking at this as a consumer outreach tool.  That is our priority, talking to our customers and consumers about our commitment to them.