Nov 10, 2022
Root Cause Analysis award winners announced

The International Fresh Produce Association has recognized companies advancing root cause analysis.

IFPA released the names of winning companies at its inaugural Global Produce and Floral Show, which was Oct. 27-29 in Orlando, Florida.

The winners of the 2022 Root Cause Analysis awards are
• Farmer’s Fridge,
• IEH Laboratories, and
• Proexport Papaya.

Together, the award winning companies will share their approaches to evaluating root causes and how their efforts led them to implement preventive actions during an IFPA webinar later this winter, according to a news release.

“Conducting an effective root cause analysis or assessment (RCA) is an essential skill demonstrated by the most effective and forward thinking produce companies,” IFPA saidin the release. “If something goes wrong, or simply could be done better, understanding not only what happened, but why something happened allows a company – and ideally the broader community – to install measures so that the issue (or a similar issue) can be addressed for the long term.”

However, this is easier said than done. There are many barriers to conducting a thorough RCA: expertise, resources, regulatory and reputational issues, according to the release.

IFPA seeks to change the outward perception of RCAs. “Companies that conduct thorough investigations into issues or near misses should be celebrated, not penalized,” Jennifer McEntire, IFPA’s chief food safety and regulatory officer, said in the release. “As has been demonstrated in other industries, openly celebrating proactive problem solving and sharing of knowledge fosters a culture of excellence”.

Any IFPA member was eligible to apply for the award. Applications were judged by a subgroup of the IFPA Food Safety Council based on the composition of the RCA team, management commitment to RCA, execution of the RCA including the process used, depth of the work, documentation, and verification of the RCA, as well as the how the outcomes of the effort were used to develop corrective and preventive actions.


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