News & Events

January 12, 2009

Van Groningen & Sons Delivers Traceable Watermelons using HarvestMark®

Grower of popular "Yosemite Fresh" label watermelons becomes first in California to deploy HarvestMark

Redwood City, Calif. - YottaMark, Inc., the leader in traceability and authentication solutions, today announced that Van Groningen & Sons, Inc. will begin delivering traceable watermelons using the HarvestMark® traceability solution for the 2009 harvest season. The traceable watermelons will begin hitting select retail stores across the U.S. in June 2009. With over eighty years in the farming business, Van Groningen & Sons will be the first watermelon grower and distributor in California to deploy HarvestMark.

"We are excited to be the first watermelon grower and shipper in California to deploy HarvestMark, and bring traceability capabilities to our retail partners and consumers," said Ryan Van Groningen, sales manager, Van Groningen & Sons. "Now, if people have questions about our watermelons - when and where it was harvested or if they want to learn more about our farming practices, we have a simple and dynamic way to deliver that information instantly."

The HarvestMark solution gives items, cases, trays, and pallets a unique identity that links to harvest, packing, and supply chain information. The HarvestMark portal provides instant traceback, and easy access to distribution, quality, and food safety information. HarvestMark codes can be scanned or typed in at a secure Web portal to access up-to-date product information. Buyers, distributors and customers can provide direct feedback on product quality and time to market, which can be correlated to the farm, crew, and date. Van Groningen & Sons can also use the HarvestMark solution to offer enhanced traceability and supply chain management services to retail buyers - further differentiating their products and customer service.

"The HarvestMark label provides a way for consumers to quickly check to see if the Van Groningen & Sons watermelon they just purchased at the store is fresh and safe, where it was grown. Furthermore, the label helps the watermelon grower distinguish its products and confidently and effectively communicate to the public that their products are safe in an event of a recall situation," said J. Scott Carr, president and CEO, YottaMark. "Van Groningen & Sons' adoption of HarvestMark will extend the HarvestMark traceability to key produce buying communities on the west coast and we look forward to working with the talented team at Van Groningen & Sons to launch a successful traceability program."

Watermelons are often removed from their bins or cases at the point of sale, and can easily become comingled. In the event of a food safety concern, this comingling and loss of case-level identification can mean a much wider negative impact on the industry than necessary - and can even lead to the wrong supplier being targeted for a recall. Labels with HarvestMark Codes enable each watermelon to carry a unique identifier that is easy to trace, and delivers new levels of information via a secure portal to anyone interested in learning more about the item. In an event that the watermelons are
removed, repacked or mixed with other batches at the store-level, it would continue to carry a unique identifier for easy trace-back.

Designed for field- or line-packed produce, HarvestMark is a complete traceability solution. It accommodates a wide range of workflows with an open-platform for seamless integration with existing systems. Fully compatible with GS1 standards and the Produce Traceability Initiative, HarvestMark supports a wide range of packaging formats making it quick to deploy with no interruption to business operations.

To learn more about HarvestMark, visit or call 1-866-76-TRUST (or +1.650.264.6200).

About Van Groningen & Sons
Van Groningen & Sons, Inc. is a continuation of a farming business that was started in California in 1922 by Henry Van Groningen Sr. The business is family-owned and operated by sons, grandsons, in-laws, and by workers that have been with the family for over 44 years. The farming operation now consists of growing sweet corn, watermelons, pumpkins, squash, alfalfa, almonds and walnuts. Van Groningen & Sons has also been growing watermelons for over 68 years. More information available at

About YottaMark, Inc.
YottaMark, Inc. provides the most secure and simple to deploy unit-level brand security and real-time channel intelligence solution in the market. YottaMark's powerful technology platform delivers effective product authentication and traceability to help brand owners increase consumer trust, build new levels of channel intelligence, and drive sales. HarvestMark®, the fresh food traceability solution from YottaMark, speeds response to suspected recall events, and delivers valuable product information and marketing programs across the supply chain, all the way to the consumer.

YottaMark's security codes are now protecting millions of dollars of branded goods. Leading companies in the fresh produce, electronics, and consumers packaged goods industries rely on YottaMark to increase security in the channel and inspire trust in their brands.

YottaMark is a privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. More information can be found at

Press contact:

Miz Nakajima