(April 10, 8:45 a.m.) The four California grower-shipper members of Parlier, Calif.-based Ripe ‘N Ready tree fruit alliance are offering to buy back any of their fruit that does not deliver on taste, asking consumers who are not satisfied to seek reimbursement through the company’s Web site.

The grower-shippers scheduled an April 10 news conference to release more details of Ripe ‘N Ready’s Great Taste Guarantee. The grower-shippers:

  • Fowler Packing Co. Inc., Fowler;

  • Ballantine Produce Co. Inc., Reedley;

  • George Bros. Inc., Sultana; and

  • SunWest Fruit Co. Inc., Parlier.

The guarantee is the end result of a comprehensive quality management program implemented by the grower-shippers who grow tree fruit for the Ripe ‘N Ready label, said Blair Richardson, chief executive officer of FreshSense, the marketing agent for the label, in a statement.

Shalyne Van Worth, quality control coordinator for Ripe ‘N Ready, said the pre-conditioned fruit packed under the label is inspected at least four times during the packing process to ensure taste and quality standards are met.

The Great Taste Guarantee will be available during the 2008 season to retailers who are on a full program with Ripe ‘N Ready, Richardson said in the statement. An in-store training program for produce managers and point-of-purchase materials will be made available to retailers, he said.

FreshSense was formed in May 2007. Two of the group’s original members, Kingsburg Orchards and The HMC Marketing Group Inc., both based in Kingsburg, have since opted out of the alliance.

Tree fruit shippers offer money-back guarantee