In late February, Adams Cold Storage underwent the annual BRC Global Standards Audit. Once the technical review is completed, we anticipate our fifth consecutive AA rating. Regardless of our score, this year’s audit results will be one of the most significant in our 10-year history.
Consider what the past 12 months have thrown at us — from uncertainty, to shutdown, to supply chain shifts, to reopening business needs, to quarantining, to a faint semblance of “enhanced” normalcy — and that’s just here at the office. Each of us has faced similar seismic shifts in our home life as well.
The globally recognized BRCGS AA rating is awarded to companies that comply with local, state, national, and international food safety legislation and maintain the highest standards of storage and distribution of safe, quality food products. Our customers know that the rating underscores our commitment to excellence and is an extension of the high standards they expect.
Of course, the rating is also a tangible reflection of the type of consistent attention to detail and the dedication from the men and women who make Adams Cold Storage the place of excellence that it is. We are thankful for each of these professionals who push us toward the highest standards.
An example of the “deep dive” done by the auditors is found in our traceability competencies. The auditor picks a random historical inbound truck receipt out of thousands and examines the corresponding Bill of Lading and our internal receiving documents. The auditor then calls for a complete rundown of the deliveries accomplished. Each receipt and delivery entail some 10 pages of documents. In this case, we produced all documentation required for 19 subsequent deliveries — 200 documents with computer-verified entries. We did it in 39 minutes; the industry standard is 2 hours. That is the type of people who are members of our ACS team: professional, responsive, and extremely proud of their work product.
Despite the pandemic and the resulting chaos, ACS continued to maintain an order fulfillment accuracy rate of 99.98% over some 20,000 orders this past year. We never closed our doors, and we followed all CDC recommended guidelines in handling the Coronavirus since March.
I am mystified that the country’s essential and critical workers in food and agriculture have not been prioritized much higher on the vaccination lists, as we, like all of you, look for an end to the madness.
The performance from our team is what makes ACS an industry leader among our peers and a valued partner to our customers. I’ll report next month on our BRCGS final rating and hope to announce our fifth AA rating. Whatever the score, I am proud and thankful beyond words for our team and our customers.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and 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 multitemperature warehousing and is AA rated by BRCGS.