Officials at Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll's are proud of their fruit's heritage, and they want to share that knowledge with consumers.

Beginning late last year, they started putting a label with a unique 12-digit code on the botton of each berry clamshell.

By visiting and click on the "Trace Your Berries Link," consumers can enter that code and learn aout nutritional data, growing region, ranch name and farmer profile.

The traceback system is being marketed by Harvest Mark of Redwood, Calif., and meets the Produce Traceability Initiative requirements, which are being developed by the Produce Merchandising Association. 

Maybe more importantly, the data can be used in case of a food-borne illness outbreak to trace the product down to the block from which it came.

The program will take 12 to 36 months to complete, since the company works with numerous independent growers, according to a Driscoll's news release.

"We actually send people into each farmers' ranch and work with them to make sure they understand everything that's involed with what's doing this," says Gloria Chillon, marketing director for Driscoll's.

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