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The Cold Standard: Exceeding Regulations


In last month’s column, we began a discussion about our efforts in supporting the cold-chain supply lines between our customers and the cruise lines in the Caribbean islands.  I’m going to pause on this subject because we just received the formal renewal certification of our British Retail Consortium-International (BRC-I) Audit for Storage & Distribution, conducted by AIB-International in February and March of this year.

Adams Cold Storage (ACS) maintained the highest achievable rating of AA. This particular third-party audit result is extremely important to our customers, as well as our customers’ customers, as it clearly exhibits our sustaining commitment to the highest levels of food safety, food defense, plant safety, and accountability.

BRC-International Standards conform to the Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI) and meet and often exceed the regulations of the U.S. Food Safety Management Act (FSMA).

During the course of the BRC audit, more than 200 individual requirements are audited against international standards. The major sections of the audit include: Organizational and Senior Management Commitment to Continual Improvement; Company Structure & Responsibility; Hazard & Risk Analysis Processes & Outcomes; Quality Management; Building & Facility Standards; Vehicle (Truck & Trailer) Handling & Inspection; Facility Management; Good Operating Practices; Safety & Training; and Document Control. Once the audit is completed and the results quantified, an independent technical review is conducted for thoroughness and to review any non-conformances and corrective actions.  

Our customers are provided the full, detailed report for review. In many cases, exceptional BRC audit results provide satisfactory levels of confidence and “performance insurance,” and preclude often-expensive travel and time requirements by our customers to perform the same type of comprehensive audit.

I want to publicly thank our many customers, contractors, and vendors who support and cooperate so closely with us in maintaining our AA rating. And I especially want to thank members of the ACS Team for their continuing dedication, loyalty, and professionalism in helping us to be a leader in a tough and demanding industry.

This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage, LLC.

BIO: Ben Adams, Jr., is an owner and president of president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC, in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing, and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates some 250,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing and is AA rated by BRC-International.