In the world of food safety, there are certain achievements that put you way ahead of the competition – and Prime Fresh Handling just nabbed a big one in Los Angeles.
After months of staff training, program auditing, and perseverance, PFH’s LAX-based facility has successfully attained the highly coveted Primus Certification, issued by PrimusGFS, a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that is recognized and respected around the world.
The Primus Certification applies specifically to qualified companies that operate within the fresh food supply chain, from pre- and to post-farm gate production, which is exactly what PFH does.
As a strategic ally for clients around the world, Prime Fresh Handling takes care of all logistics needs – from start to finish – in order to achieve safe and fresh delivery of perishable goods to their final destination.
At Prime Fresh warehouses and handling facilities, wide-ranging services include crating and package, cold storage and inventory services, as well as document processing and customs clearance.
In addition to LAX, PFH operates facilities in New York and Miami, as well as Bogota, Quito, and Amsterdam – all key gateways for perishable products including fresh fish, fruit, and cut flowers.
According to Cristina Moscoso, the commercial manager for PHF-Los Angeles, retailers and other buyers around the world trust Primus Certification as a mark of the highest standards in food safety – allowing top-rated companies like PFH to gain access to all corners of the global market.
We sat down with Cristina recently to get the fresh news about this milestone achievement in Los Angeles.
Q: Why it is important that Prime Fresh Handling holds the Primus Certification?
Cristina: Let me start with a little background first. Primus Certification signifies that PFH maintains the highest in food safety standards. It is important because, as a result, we are objectively validated as a company that meets all procedures – making food safety a priority. It’s also rather significant because it opens even more doors for us in the worldwide market. After all, GFS stands for Global Food Safety!
Q: So Primus is viewed as a critical benchmark for PFH customers, as well?
Cristina: Yes, absolutely. Primus Certification is key for customers who need evidence showing that all the while their product is in our facility, it is being handled and processed under the best possible conditions so that it arrives to the final consumer exactly as expected.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the process?
Cristina: Well, it is not known as highly sought after badge because it’s easy! In fact, we have being working for about a year to meet all the necessary requirements to gain this certification. But what was most challenging is that it was truly an entire-team effort. In order to deliver on what the program requires, everyone at every level truly had to not only commit to understand the purpose and complexities of certification, but to honor the spirit of the program overall. It’s all about being a world-class provider of the highest caliber of quality in the food industry. And we are certainly up to the task.
Q: So, it sounds like it is PFH will benefit greatly with this certification in hand?
Cristina: Primus Certification is essentially a business-driven initiative for the development of food-safety management systems that ensure our facilities are processing safe food for consumers. So yes, in this industry, certification is becoming a must for companies like PFH that are determined to rank among the top-tier providers of food service and handling. Primus Certification also boosts our status and reputation, showing that PFH takes food safety seriously.
Q: Are there other similarly impactful food certifications?
Cristina: PFH also has a HACCP program (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) that certifies us to handle fresh seafood in particular. HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe for consumption. In the near future, however, we aim to get certified “Primus Organics,” which is now the market trend.
In fact, over the last few years, large U.S. retailers and food-service companies have really been pushing for auditing schemes that are universally accepted worldwide. At PFH, we not only strive to keep up-to-date on customer and regulatory requirements, but to exceed them.
Q: Any last thoughts before you get back to work?
Cristina: I just want to mention that I have a lot of gratitude for my entire PFH team. We put in so much work to pass this rigorous inspection and to implement the program. And of course, I wish to thank our Prime Group management team for truly understanding the concept of the Primus Certification process – it really was a significant investment on their part.
Prime Fresh Handling is one of four separate divisions of Prime Group Holdings including PrimeAir, Prime Logistics, and Prime Fresh Products – all dedicated to offering the best international cargo and logistics products and support, from sales and marketing for cargo airlines, to ground handling and cold storage, to market analysis. For general information, visit https://primegroup.aero/ or call 305-592-2044.
PFH is located at 5250 West 102 St., Los Angeles, CA 90045. For information, contact PFH Commercial Manager Cristina Moscoso at 323-328-8650, or send an email to Cristina.Moscoso@primeair.aero. Also visit www.prime-fresh.com.