“Regardless of whether you’re an importer, broker or buyer – whatever your role in the fresh produce supply chain – the lab testing partner you choose should understand the pain points for your part in it, your particular commodities, and what your objectives are,” says Adam Hughes, Director of Microbiology for Primuslabs.
That means adapting the lab services to fit what you need, not the other way around. Primus Labs has specialized nearly exclusively in testing fresh produce for over 30 years, and intensive, laser-focused experience matters, says Joseph Myers, Communications and Training Specialist at Primuslabs. You could get burned with a presumptive positive in a hot market or caught flatfooted by a false negative, both of which can be riddled with delays and costly consequences up and down the supply chain, tarnishing spreadsheets, brand reputations, and impacting food safety.
“We know that seconds count, and hours make a difference,” says Hughes, noting the dangers of overlooking something, or spending three days to rule out a presumptive positive. Primuslabs’ scientists, highly trained and utilizing the latest technologies, know precisely what to look for and how to test and quickly counteract false results, which can be a convoluted process, explains Hughes.
Just as important, this adroitness must extend to fast turnaround and ongoing communication.
In the case of Primus Labs, its rigorous, comprehensive approach involves customized 24/7 client interfacing, amplified through a partnership with Azzule (including a new Primuslabs App which it powers) to make the lab data clear and accessible (updated test results plus historical data).
This is all part of the entire supply chain platform site, to track, assess, and enact prompt resolutions to keep perishable items moving. This also includes longer term analytics to forecast growing patterns and conditions to pre-empt and prevent future problems, according to Hughes.
“We’re working with Azzule, which has such strong buyer relationships, to help customers who may be selling to 30 different buyers with varying requirements, to put out data on a platform that makes the complex process easier,” says Kurokawa. “Food safety is a big enough job … Our whole goal is to make this just as seamless and streamlined as possible.”
“Our lab really understands the industry’s urgency for 24/7 coverage to help clients make informed decisions amid rapidly moving markets and fluctuating prices, and that includes weekends and holidays when a buyer calls with an immediate need,” says Hughes.
“You have full access to our professionals, so you can speak with a microbiologist or chemist…There is that transparency and that availability,” says Kurokawa.
“We encourage our customers to know who handled their samples and to capitalize on a whole team of scientists offering support and feedback.”