Divine Flavor Stays Sharp by Conducting Internal Audits
As many of those who work in the agriculture industry know, auditing is just part of the business. It’s a system for checking processes are being followed. It’s a method for correction and improvement. It’s an independent opinion of assuring if the information presented by a company or organization is exactly what is being done as part of their processes.
Each growing season, Divine Flavor conducts internal audits for all of its growing locations to ensure all major areas of the operation comply not only with the industry standards, but as well as the company’s requirements to export under the brand. The areas focused on include food safety and responsible sourcing for the farms and packing facilities, and also sustainability and supply chain security (C-TPAT). Not only are these internal audits conducted at the farms, but as well for the cold storage facilities here in the US.
For the past several years, Divine Flavor has been conducting these internal audits through AgroSupport of Mexico (AGSM), an external consulting firm who specializes in all areas of the agricultural sector. One of the main goals of coordinating these audits is to check food safety, social, security, and sustainability programs are running smoothly before and after the certification body (Primus, Fair Trade, etc.) conduct their yearly renewal.
The food safety review is similar to that of Primus GFS, but also with the FSMA addendums which focus of water testing, preventive control training, and better record keeping. The social audit takes most of the components from the Fair Trade standard and it verifies those areas are kept in good standing. During the audit, the auditor inspects the facility is operating safely and is always in compliance with local law. In recent years, AGSM and Divine Flavor created a hybrid audit for the growers in the areas of sustainability and supply chain security. As the industry has been mandating more compliance in these areas, Divine Flavor wanted to ensure its growers were up to date with the regulations, and so they created this new program to consult with its partners and teach them how to improve sustainability and security programs.
Divine Flavor’s working relationship with AGSM started back when the company opened in 2006 and they have been a direct resource for its growers ever since. In addition to internally auditing each season, AGSM has been a key component to working with Divine Flavor and its growers to review new industry requirements and develop policies which comply with the final rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). Having been working together for many years, both of the companies have created a platform for educating and explaining how to comply with all areas related to produce safety and social responsibility.
In a time where consumers expect the produce they purchase to be of the highest standards, AGSM’s additional filters and review methods are exactly the type of assurance Divine Flavor guarantees with its produce. To give ‘Better Food for a Better World’, each system must operate efficiently and be conducted accurately, and for Divine Flavor, internally auditing is the best way to stay sharp and offer the healthiest and freshest products to its customers.
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