One of the most interesting things we do each year here is host leadership students from our local high school (Auburndale High School — Go Bloodhounds!) and give them a glimpse of what we do here at Adams Cold Storage and the role we play in how their food goes from the farm to their table. We actually have one of those students working for us this summer, earning money for college — that’s another thing we like to do as often as possible, but that’s probably a story for another column!
We take them into our state-of-the-art, 7.1-million-cubic-foot freezer and show them the technology that helps us keep track of our customers’ inventory; and how, with that technology, we are able to select over 400,000 cases for orders a month with over a 99.9 percent accuracy — which is higher than the industry standard.
We show them the food that comes from every corner of the world on its way to restaurants, grocery stores, cruise ships and airlines in opposite corners of the world. We talk about how we supply foods for the major zoological parks around the country and about how we supply the food that feeds Sea World’s famous whales. That goes over well.
We then warm them up, relatively speaking, in our 32-degree coolers and talk about how we store all of the school lunches for the state of Florida and how, when natural disasters hit, we help get the food from our facility to where it needs to go.
And it all happens in their little hometown in Central Florida.
These leadership students are not unlike most people in the general public: They have no real thought as to how food appears on their plate at mealtime.
The more time working in the food supply chain, the more I realize that part of my job is helping bridge that knowledge gap. Knowledge is power, and I firmly believe that the more people understand all of the effort it takes to responsibly grow, to safely store, and to efficiently ship their favorite foods on a consistent basis, the more committed they will become to taking care of all of the supply chain’s needs.