(Dec. 2, 10:33 a.m.) The recent certification of Pride Packing Co., Wapato, Wash., has made its parent company, United Salad Co., Portland, Ore., the first company to be certified throughout the entire supply, process and distribution chain by the Food Alliance.

Food Alliance, Portland, Ore., is a national third-party certifier for sustainable agriculture and food handling practices, said John Harrington, communications manager.

Food Alliance recently certified Pride Packing Co.’s apricot, nectarine and peach orchards along with its fruit packing facility. Certification is underway for its pear, apple and cherry orchards, said Harrington.

The company has more than 3,000 acres of fruit trees, and grows and packs more than 2.5 million cases of fruit a year.

“It’s unique that we’ve been able to certify the entire chain from on-the-ground production to end user,” Harrington said.

Scott Exo, executive director at Food Alliance, expects the certification of the entire chain from production to distribution to become a growing trend in the industry.

“The market is demanding greater and greater transparency,” Exo said.