Foodservice sourcers Axis Purchasing and Chicago-based Produce Alliance are partnering in a move aimed at increasing member services for both.

“We’ve been testing it for some time to make sure there was a good fit for the companies,” John Krebs, president and chief executive officer of Purcellville, Va.-based Axis Purchasing, said Aug. 27. “It’s a special arrangement when you get into the fresh produce industry. It takes the expertise that Produce Alliance has in those relationships. We’re taking care of broadline.”

The collaboration will boost savings for foodservice clients and assure quality, Krebs said.

“Produce Alliance monitors the cold chain and invoicing,” he said. “It’s not a restaurant or foodservice organization checking produce quality or availability.”

“Produce Alliance can help our customers create consistency in the food cost, so if zucchini is supposed to cost them 73 cents it does, not 50 cents one day and $1.20 another,” said Ed Zimmerman, Axis Purchasing spokesman.

Produce Alliance provides fresh produce procurement and distribution. It manages a group of 44 independently owned specialty distributors of fresh products with combined annual produce sales over $3 billion. It offers audited distribution, purchasing, and category management. Besides Chicago, there are locations in Atlanta, Nashville and Salinas, Calif.