Monday, October 30, 2006

Food security milestone achieved at Brooks Tropicals

Brooks joins the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

Brooks has been a certified member of C-TPAT since June of 2005. CTPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative aimed at maintaining the integrity and security of the overall international supply chain and U.S. border security.

C-TPAT was created by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and is a part of the Homeland Security Department. C-TPAT works on ensuring effective supply chain security worldwide.

Working with this agency, Brooks ensures that the integrity of our security practices meet the heightened requirements of the overall supply chain.

Beyond these essential security benefits, Brooks achieves a faster time to market with:
• A reduced number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspections (reduced border delay
• Priority processing for CBP inspections. (Front of the Line processing for inspections when possible.)

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Third Party Food Safety Audit

In addition to our in-house quality control effects, PrimusLabs has inspected our Belize packing operations and gave the facility a 92% score which is considered excellent. This allows us to say that our Caribbean Red® and Caribbean Sunrise® papayas are packed under procedures and practices that have met the stringent criteria set-up by this third party food safety auditor. This is an important milestone for Brooks.

Going forward we’ll use this audit to continue our efforts to identify, review, and document specific practices in our food safety program that is focused on reducing the risk of microbial, chemical and physical contamination from the field to the distribution of our fresh Caribbean Red and Caribbean Sunrise papayas.

For our retailers and wholesalers, we hope this audit and continuing food safety program helps to distinguish our produce in the eyes of their customers. It is especially important considering the problems growers are experiencing with E. coli. contamination. Consumers will appreciate knowing that the papaya they buy from Brooks complies with proper production and handling practices and techniques.

PrimusLabs’ auditing services is a confirmation tool for Brooks, confirming that our development, implementation and maintenance of preventative hurdles successfully correlates with a lack of contamination. The presence of these hurdles, we believe, is a predictive estimation of the operation’s ability to avoid future contamination.

Brooks sees this third party audit program as the most effective means of maximizing our return on safety and quality investments.