Ben Adams, Jr.

Third-party audits — insuring the cold chain

THIRD-PARTY AUDITORS are independent, industry audit certification bodies that verify all aspects of self-policing and adherence to standards. These audits cost thousands of dollars to engage, disrupt normal business operations, and costs thousands of additional dollars in overtime, “tweaking” systems, and preparation. Third-party audits are not only necessary (and in many cases mandatory by customers), but also absolutely helpful in verifying cold chain protocols, facility standards, and operational integrity. Documents are scrutinized and personnel are interviewed — to prove that all regulations and requirements are being accomplished.

Adams Cold Storage is about to embark on a British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard Audit for Storage and Distribution — the most stringent international standard in our industry. Literally every element of our operations will be examined over two days. Currently, there are fewer than 20 BRC Global Standard auditors available in the United States for storage and distribution certifications.

Why do this? Because ACS handles products from around the world, ships to the international community, and is committed. ACS will always attain the highest certification possible to provide confidence to our shippers and receivers that we are the best. This BRC audit will be a reviewable document by all other auditors, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Florida Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce (seafood), state and local health departments, the Florida Department of Food Distribution, the Polk County Fire Department, state health departments, and dozens of customers.

While the audit is stringent in standards and provable execution, we look forward to achieving this BRC Standard Certification.


column by BEN ADAMS, JR.

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 current facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion plan on the horizon.